Kakwa River

Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows NE across BC-Alberta boundary into Smoky River, E of Jarvis Lakes, N of McBride, Peace River Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 54°06'05''N, 120°00'00''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 93I/1

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 2 June 1925 on Ottawa file OBF 0841, sheet 40, as labelled on BC-Alberta Boundary Atlas sheet #39, 1924. Headwaters in BC at 54 02-120 09 on 93 I/1; flows into Smoky River in Alberta, at 54° 37' -118° 28' on 83 L/9.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Had been labelled "Porcupine River" on 1912 map of BC Northern Interior (publisher not cited), and on BC Lands' 1913 Preliminary Forest Map, and on BC Lands' 1917 map of the Forest Stand Types in British Columbia. Mountaineer F. Prescott Fay, who spent the summers of 1912-14 tracking big game in this area, suggested the name be changed [or revert (?)] to "Kakwa", the Cree word for porcupine.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Kakwa Mountain [which this river flows past] was named in 1925 by mountaineer S. Prescott Fay, "perhaps due to the shape of the mountain".

Source: Place Names of Alberta, Alberta Geographical Names Program and Friends of Geographical Names of Alberta Society, University of Calgary Press, 4 volumes, 1991-1996.