Canada’s rivers have actually played a an essential role in the country’s background and cultural heritage. Together transportation paths for indigenous people and early settlers, they connected the country before railways and also other settings of transportation. Castle have likewise been a source of water, food and also recreation for hundreds of years. Below is a list of Canada’s 10 longest rivers. The list is bespeak by the river’s full length, not just the portions within Canadian borders.

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Canada’s rivers have actually played a critical role in the country’s history and social heritage. As transportation courses for aboriginal people and also early settlers, they linked the country prior to railways and other modes of transportation. They have additionally been a resource of water, food and also recreation for hundreds of years. Below is a list of Canada’s 10 longest rivers. The list is bespeak by the river’s total length, not just the portions within Canadian borders.

The Mackenzie river is the longest in Canada and the second longest in north America, after the Mississippi. Deh Cho, the Dene namefor the Mackenzie River, translates literally as “Big River.” The Inuvialuktun name, Kuukpak, method “Great River,” and also the Gwich’in name, Nagwichoonjik,means “river flowing v a huge country.” Each catch the great scale that the flow in the landscape. The English name derives from Alexander Mackenzie, first European to travel the size of the river to that mouth, in 1789.

2. Yukon River: 3,185 km


In Canada, the Yukon River and also its headwaters traverse the regions of the Tr"ondëk Hwëch"in, Tutchone, Tagish and Tlingit.In turn, the flow is main to Indigenous social landscapes. The story bicycle of the Athapaskan hero Tachokaii (“the Traveller”) tells of the make of both the river and time itself. According to these stories, the birchbark canoe wascreated top top the shores that the river, where it widens right into the south end of Lake Laberge. In enhancement to the canoe, native people also travelled the river through mooseskin boats and rafts that could lug entire households.

3. Nelson River: 2,575 km


Explorer Sir Thomas Button wintered at the mouth of the Nelson flow in 1612 and also namedit because that Robert Nelson, a ship’s understand who passed away there. The enntrance gate to the river became the step of a bitter battle for the fur trade. York Factory wasestablished at Marsh Point, a peninsula separating the Nelson and the Hayes rivers. However, the Hayes, no the Nelson, became the key route inland. 

4. Columbia River: 2,000 km


Originally referred to as “Rio de san Roque” by Spanish explorers, in 1792 the river was change the name “Columbia” through Boston fur trader Robert Gray, who called it after ~ his ship. The headwaters of the Columbia Riverbelong come the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa; the region surrounding Kinbasket Lake and also Revelstokeis the classic territory of the Secwepemc; and the area in between Revelstoke and also the inner Columbia container is the classic territory the the Sinixt (see Interior Salish).

5. Saskatchewan River: 1,939 km


The name “Saskatchewan” is obtained from the Cree native kisiskâciwanisîpiy, an interpretation “swift-flowing river.” The Saskatchewan Riverwas a major transportation route for first Nations for countless years. That was also an crucial transportation and source corridor throughout the fur trade and early Europeanexploration. The basin includes the timeless territories that the Blackfoot Confederacy to the west, the Assiniboine (primarilysouth the the river), Cree, Ojibwa and Métis.

6. Peace River: 1,923 km

The peace River is among the primary tributaries that the Mackenzie River system. Thename the the river refers to a settlement between Cree and Dane-Zaa (Beaver)warring parties approximately 1781 at Peace suggest at the lower portion of the river. The Dane-Zaa word because that the river is Unchaga, definition “Big River;” the Cree word because that the settlement there is Sâkitawâhk.

7. Churchill River: 1,609

The river’s surname — for john Churchill, first duke that Marlborough and governor of the Hudson’s Bay agency from 1685 to 1691 — was applied to the river as at an early stage as 1686. TheCree called it Missinipi, definition “great waters” or “big water." Churchill Riverissues native Churchill Lake in northwestern Saskatchewan and also flows southeast, east and also northeast come Hudson Bayat Churchill, Manitoba.

8. South Saskatchewan River: 1,392 km

The southern Saskatchewan flow is a greatly utilized water source in southern Alberta andSaskatchewan. The is a major tributary come the Saskatchewan River, at some point discharging toHudson Bay. The southern Saskatchewan river flows with an agriculturally productive region and is vulnerable to periodic droughts and also floods. Water withdrawals in the south SaskatchewanRiver basin are the highest possible of any river container in Canada, and also since 2006 the basin has to be closed to brand-new water patent in Alberta.

9. Fraser River: 1,375 km

The Fraser flow is the longest river in british Columbia. It begins on the western side of theRocky hills at mount Robson Provincial Park, and ends in the Strait that Georgia atVancouver. Named for explorer Simon Fraser, the flow was a transportation route and resource of foodfor the Indigenous human being of the region long before Fraser took trip its waters. In 1858, yellow was found on sandbars south of Yale, setting off the Fraser flow gold rush.

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10. North Saskatchewan River: 1,287 km

The north Saskatchewan flow flows native Rocky mountains headwaters, overcame by alpine fir, Engelmann spruce and lodgepole pine,through the foothills, traversing aspen forests and parklands, residence to balsam poplar andmixed herbs and also shrubs. A big portion the the river’s container is provided for agriculture, primarily cereal crops. The water high quality of the phibìc Saskatchewan is finest in theheadwater regions and also decreases downstream due to the cumulative effects of human activity in the basin, an especially agriculture and also urbanization.