The Lost Patrol

The Lost Patrol is story the Teetl’it Gwich’in know and understand. It has been told many times by many different people. The story of the Lost Patrol speaks to the fundamental truths of the Land and its people. By telling and retelling the story of the Lost Patrol the Teetl’it Gwich’in take part in the history of the Land and the relationships between people that remain.

This story by the RCMP tells what it was like in 1985, to try and recreate the difficult challenges that the Lost Patrol faced. Challenges that took the lives of all the men in the 1911 Lost Patrol. While this trip of re-creation did not meet all of its objectives, it is an important illustration of how daunting the Land was to the unprepared.

The RCMP have also listed the Lost Patrol as a famous case. Historical societies and museums have long told the story of the Lost Patrol.

The Virtual Museum of Canada tells a shortened version of the story, briefly mentioning the role of Inspector Jack Dempster and how a portion of the highway was named in his honour. It also details how after the tragedy, the RCMP always had a Native guide and hunter on all subsequent patrols.

The Government of the Northwest Territories commemorated the 100th Anniversary of the Lost Patrol on February 15, 2011 in the Assembly by a Minister’s Statement. The Minister of Justice said:

“We need to take the time to reflect back on our history and the lessons we have learned from the loss of the members of the Lost Patrol, and others who have lost their lives in the line of duty. These lessons all speak to ensuring we support one another and the community at large as we work together in building a police service that reflects the needs of the North. As an Assembly, we have set ourselves a goal of creating sustainable, vibrant safe communities. Each of us has a role, an important role, in pursuing that goal and making our homes and communities safer places.”

The Lost Patrol Gravesite

For the full statement of the Minister, which also recognizes commemorative events in 2010 and 2011, held in Fort McPherson, visit this page.

The Lost Patrol is a part of Fort McPherson history and the Teetl’it Gwich’in respect and remember the sacrifice of the people involved.

Read the Treaty Between the Teetl’it Gwich’in and the Crown

In 1921 Teetl’it Gwich’in signed the Treaty that we live as a part of today. Read more and learn the history of Treaty 11.

RCMP Famous Cases, Events and People

The RCMP have listed the Lost Patrol as a famous case. Read through their telling of the Lost Patrol and other historical cases.