Slave River

Slave River Watershed

The Slave River is a Canadian river that flows from Lake Athabasca in northeastern Alberta and empties into Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. The river’s name is thought to derive from the name for the Slavey group of the Dene First Nations, Deh Gah Got’ine, in the Athabaskan language, and has nothing to do with slavery. The Chipewyan had displaced other native people from this region.


The Slave River originates in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, at the forks of Peace River and Riviere Des Roches, which drains the Athabasca River and Lake Athabasca. The Slave River flows north into the Northwest Territories and into the Great Slave Lake north of Fort Resolution. From there the water reaches the Arctic Ocean through the Mackenzie River.The river is 434 km in length and has a cumulative drainage area of 616,400 km².

Portage and Navigation

Prior to the extension of railway service to Hay River, Northwest Territories, a river port on Great Slave Lake, cargo shipment on the Slave River was an important transport route. Locally built wooden vessels were navigating the river into the late 19th Century. The rapids required a portage of 16 miles (26 km). Tractors were imported from Germany to assist in hauling goods around the rapids. Tugs and barges of the Northern Transportation Company’s “Radium Line” were constructed in the south and disassembled. The parts were then shipped by rail to Waterways, Alberta, shipped by barge to the portage, and portaged to the lower river for reassembly, where they could navigate most of the rest of the extensive Mackenzie River basin.


  • Peace-Athabasca Delta
    • Athabasca River
    • Lake Athabasca
    • Riviere Des Roches
    • Chilloneys Creek
    • Revillon Coupe
    • Dempsey Creek
    • Peace River
    • Scow Channel
    • Murdock Creek
    • Darough Creek
  • Powder Creek
  • La Butte Creek
  • Hornaday River
  • Salt River
  • Little Buffalo River
Note : The above story is based on materials provided by Wikipedia