KEEWATIN, a district of Canada, bounded E. by Committee Bay, Fox Channel, and Hudson and James bays, S. and S.W. by the Albany and English rivers, Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg, and Nelson river, W. by the looth meridian, and N. by Simpson and Rae straits and gulf and peninsula of Boothia; thus including an area of 445,000 sq. m. Its surface is in general barren and rocky, studded with innumerable lakes with intervening elevations, forest-clad below 60 N., but usually bare or covered with moss or lichens, forming the so-called " barren lands " of the north. With the exception of a strip of Silurian and Devonian rocks, 40 to 80 m. wide, extending from the vicinity of the Severn river to the Churchill, and several isolated areas of Cambrian and Huronian, the district is occupied by Laurentian rocks. The principal river is the Nelson, which, with its great tributary, the Saskatchewan, is 1450 m. long; other tributaries are the Berens, English, Winnipeg, Red and Assiniboine. The Hayes, Severn and Winisk also flow from the south-west into Hudson Bay, and the Ekwan, Attawapiskat and Albany, 500 m. long, into James Bay. The Churchill, 925 m., Thlewliaza, Maguse, and Ferguson rivers discharge into Hudson Bay on the west side; the Kazan, 500 m., and Dubawnt, 660 m., into Chesterfield Inlet; and Back's river, rising near Aylmer Lake, flows north-eastwards 560 m. to the Arctic Ocean. The principal lakes are St Joseph and Seul on the southern boundary; northern part of Lake Winnipeg, 710 ft. above the sea; Island; South Indian; Etawney; Nueltin; Yathkyed, at an altitude of 300 ft.; Maguse; Kaminuriak; Baker, 30 ft.; Aberdeen, 130 ft.; and Garry. The principal islands are Southampton, area 17,800 sq. m.; Marble Island, the usual wintering place for whaling vessels; and Bell and Coats Islands, in Hudson Bay; and Akimiski, in James Bay.
A few small communities at the posts of the Hudson Bay Company constitute practically the whole of the white population. In 1897 there were 852 Indians in the Churchill and Nelson rivers district, but no figures are available for the district as a whole. The principal posts in Keewatin are Norway House, near the outlet of Lake Winnipeg; Oxford House, on the lake of the same name; York Factory, at the mouth of Hayes river; and Forts Severn and Churchill, at the mouths of the Severn and Churchill rivers respectively. In 1905 the district of Keewatin was included in the North- West Territories and the whole placed under an administrator cr acting governor. The derivation of the name is from the Cree the " north wind."
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)