Founded by Simon Fraser in 1806 as a trading post for the North West Company, Fort St. James is a national historic site. Located on the shores of beautiful Stuart Lake, Fort St. James was a major centre of trade and commerce in the 19th century fur trade, built upon relationships and interactions between the fur traders and the native people of the region, the Carrier First Nations.
Fort St. James is an energetic, active and diverse community that genuinely reflects the northern way of life. The community is the gateway to a chain of rivers and lakes that traverse 400 kilometers of central British Columbia. The population of the Fort St. James area, including the municipality, rural areas and First Nations, is approximately 4,500 people. Year-round outdoor and indoor recreational opportunities abound. On the cultural side, residents enjoy an active Community Arts Council, an amateur theatre company, a movie theatre and a public library.
In addition to a well-established forest industry, the community of Fort St. James supports a growing mining sector and tourism industry.
Fort St. James has three elementary schools, a high school, an adult education centre and a satellite campus of the College of New Caledonia. CNC's main campus and the University of Northern British Columbia are located less than a two-hour drive away. The community boasts a local medical clinic operated by a non-profit society whose members are highly committed to having full-time doctors living and working in the community and providing quality care through the clinic as well as through Stuart Lake Hospital and the Northern Interior Health Unit.
Fort St. James is a community that is known for opening its doors and showing its visitors and new residents the beauty of the north. It is located approximately 160 km north-west of Prince George.