The Kalinek channel flows into the main branch of the MacKenzie River, which runs north to the Beaufort Sea. The MacKenzie drains the water from about 20% of Canada, and much of the northern Delta has been formed by sediment carried by the river. With all the nutrients from the vast watershed flowing north, the Delta is teeming with life, and with food that has enabled people to survive up here long before the comforts of contemporary life arrived in this last century. The earliest people to arrive in the Americas, 14,000 years ago, came across the Bering Strait from modern-day Russia, and hugged the Beaufort coast until they arrived at the MacKenzie River. The rest of the Americas was populated by those who followed the river south.

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