The Town of Hinton and surrounding areas, are located within the ancestral and traditional territory of the Indigenous peoples of this area. This land has been and will continue to be home to the Plains Cree First Nations, Nakota First Nations, Denesuline First Nations and Saulteaux First Nations of Alberta as well as the Metis.
These traditional territories are also located within and neighbouring the boundaries
of Treaty 6, a vast area encompassing large portions of central Alberta and central Saskatchewan, an area in which we live, work and play each and every day. Treaty 6 was first signed at Fort Carlton, Saskatchewan in 1876 and within its Alberta boundaries, roughly central and north central Alberta, includes the reserve lands of 18 First Nation Bands who call this land home.
There is little known recorded history in the Hinton area previous to late November of 1810, when explorer David Thompson arrived in what we know today as Hinton, Alberta. Thompson camped here for two days and for an additional 25 days west of Hinton, prior to embarking on his journey to reach the Columbia River through the Athabasca pass. Today, we remain influenced by the travels of Thompson and the mapping he did of the area.
The Aseniwuche Winewak Nation, representing people of a rich heritage and history with bloodlines descend from Cree, Iroquois, Beaver, Sekani, Assiniboine, Ojibwa and Shuswap share some histories here after being removed from the Park area that has become Jasper National Park, before being moved north towards Grande Cache as part of the Switzer Park establishment. We encourage you to visit their website and learn more about the nation and its history.
In the early 1900s, newcomers began to settle in the Hinton area, founding a community. Hinton was named for William P. Hinton, Vice President and later the General Manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTPR). Hinton was the “end of rail” for the GTPR and the small new community bustled with activity, growing to a population of around 500.
Hinton’s economy has largely developed due to the natural resources in the surrounding area. Coal mining became an important staple in Hinton’s economy, along with a pulp and power mill that was opened in 1955. Due to these industries, Hinton saw new growth, not only in population, but in its wider economy and land area. Today, many Hintonites work in, or have family members who work in coal-mining operations, at the pulp and paper mill, or in oil and gas operations. Over the past few decades, Hinton has become home to numerous locally-owned businesses not only in natural resource development, but also hospitality, outdoor tourism and recreation, and many, many other services.