Afterward going westward from Lake Athabasca and through the Peace river, he reached the Pacific Ocean, being the first white man to cross the North American continent, north of Mexico.
It will thus be seen that the agricultural capabilities of the Athabasca and Peace river districts, not yet fully known, are full of promise.
The united river carrying down the waters of the Athabasca slope is called the Slave river, which, passing through Great Slave Lake, emerges as the great Mackenzie river, which falls into the Arctic Sea.
The northern part of Alberta and Saskatchewan and much of northern British Columbia are drained through the Athabasca and Peace rivers, first north-eastwards towards Athabasca Lake, then north through Slave river to Great Slave Lake, and finally north-west through Mackenzie river to the Arctic Ocean.
Roderick Mackenzie, cousin of Sir Alexander Mackenzie, built Fort Chipewyan on Lake Athabasca in 1788.
The Athabasca river region, as well as localities far north on the Mackenzie river, has decided indications of petroleum, though it is not yet developed.
The first hold of the Athabasca region was gained by Peter Pond, who, on behalf of the North-West Company of Montreal, built Fort Athabasca on river La Biche in 1778.