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When the Northwest Trading Company’s Fort Alexander trading post closed in 1821, the Slavey Dene settled at Old Fort Island, 32 km north of the present site of Wrigley. A Hudson’s Bay Company trading post was established in 1870. Between 1900 and 1905, 101 Dene died of famine and tuberculosis, and many moved to Fort Wrigley where the Slavey continued their nomadic lifestyle. A power plant, school and teacher’s residence were built in the late 1950s. In 1965, due to wet ground and overall poor living conditions, the settlement moved to the present site of Wrigley, which had the advantage of a well-maintained wartime airstrip constructed by the U.S. military for the Canol Project.

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