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The Mackenzie River is a major river in northern Canada. It is named after famous explorer, Alexander Mackenzie. The river's watershed drains parts of Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon. It flows north, for 1,738 kilometres (1,080 mi), from Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean. There are only a few small towns on the river, including Fort Providence and Norman Wells. The river is used as a boat transport route during the ice-free summer.