Old Aklavik

4. Old Aklavik

Kenneth Stewart and his wife Annie. Photo credit: Fred Greenland from the book, "Our Metis Heritage."
Official Name: 
This settlement was located on the north side of the mouth of the Pokiak Channel which enters the Peel Channel opposite present-day Aklavik.
Literal translation: 

This was the original site of Aklavik. In 1912, Kenneth Stewart, an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company, was responsible for organizing the fur trade in the Aklavik area and built a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at the mouth of the Pokiak Channel, the location of an Inuvialuit campsite. Consequently, he is considered by many to be the founder of Aklavik. By 1918, the growth of the fur trade led to an expansion of the settlement across the river to its present location. By the early 1920s, Aklavik had become the administrative, commercial and transportation centre of the Western Arctic. As the new settlement grew, it suffered severe flooding and erosion problems, and in the 1950s the federal government tried to relocate the population to where Inuvik stands today. Many Aklavik residents refused to leave, giving birth to their present day community motto: "Never Say Die."