The settlement of Jean Marie River is situated at the confluence of the Jean Marie and Mackenzie Rivers, at approximately 61° 31’ North Latitude and 120° 38’ West Longitude. It is 127 kilometers East of Fort Simpson and about 360 kilometers West of Hay River (see Map 1). It is located in the Great Slave Plain eco-region, which consists of low rolling marsh lands and willows; and dense spruce, pine, and poplar forests.
Development of the Settlement
Traditionally, the Tthets’éhk’e Délî got’ine (the people who traditionally occupied the Jean Marie River area) lived and traveled over a very wide area within what is now called the Dehcho region of the Northwest Territories. For countless generations, people pursued a traditional lifestyle: hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering plants and craft materials; moving with the seasons and resources throughout our traditional territory. The Tthets’éhk’e Délî got’ine had major family camps along the Mackenzie River from Mills Lake to Fort Simpson, in the Horn Plateau, at McGill Lake, at a traditional area called Selero, and at the ‘three lakes’: Ekali Lake, Sanguez Lake, and Gargan Lake. No camps were permanent and people moved according to the seasons, often returning to the same general areas year after year.