Place Of Interest

Alberta, Canada

Paleo-Indians arrived in Alberta at least 10,000 years ago, toward the end of the last ice age. They are thought to have migrated from Siberia to Alaska on a land bridge across the Bering Strait, and then may have moved down the east side of the Rocky Mountains through Alberta to settle the Americas. Others may have migrated down the coast of British Columbia and then moved inland.Over time they differentiated into various First Nations peoples, including the Plains Indian tribes of southern Alberta such as those of the Blackfoot Confederacy and the Plains Cree, who generally lived by hunting buffalo (American bison), and the more northerly tribes such as the Woodland Cree and Chipewyan who hunted, trapped, and fished for a living.

After the British arrival in Canada, approximately half of the province of Alberta, south of the Athabasca River drainage, became part of Rupert’s Land which consisted of all land drained by rivers flowing into Hudson Bay. This area was granted by Charles II of England to the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) in 1670, and rival fur trading companies were not allowed to trade in it. After the arrival of French Canadians in the west around 1731, they settled near fur trading posts, establishing communities such as Lac La Biche and Bonnyville. Fort La Jonquière was established near what is now Calgary in 1752.

The Athabasca River and the rivers north of it were not in HBC territory because they drained into the Arctic Ocean instead of Hudson Bay, and they were prime habitat for fur-bearing animals. The first explorer of the Athabasca region was Peter Pond, who learned of the Methye Portage, which allowed travel from southern rivers into the rivers north of Rupert’s Land. Fur traders formed the North West Company (NWC) of Montreal to compete with the HBC in 1779. The NWC occupied the northern part of Alberta territory. Peter Pond built Fort Athabasca on Lac la Biche in 1778. Roderick Mackenzie built Fort Chipewyan on Lake Athabasca ten years later in 1788. His cousin, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, followed the North Saskatchewan River to its northernmost point near Edmonton, then setting northward on foot, trekked to the Athabasca River, which he followed to Lake Athabasca. It was there he discovered the mighty outflow river which bears his name—the Mackenzie River—which he followed to its outlet in the Arctic Ocean. Returning to Lake Athabasca, he followed the Peace River upstream, eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean, and so he became the first European to cross the North American continent north of Mexico.

The extreme southernmost portion of Alberta was part of the French (and Spanish) territory of Louisiana, sold to the United States in 1803; in 1818, the portion of Louisiana north of the Forty-Ninth Parallel was ceded to Great Britain.

Fur trade expanded in the north, but bloody battles occurred between the rival HBC and NWC, and in 1821 the British government forced them to merge to stop the hostilities. The amalgamated Hudson’s Bay Company dominated trade in Alberta until 1870, when the newly formed Canadian Government purchased Rupert’s Land. Northern Alberta was included in the North-Western Territory until 1870, when it and Rupert’s land became Canada’s Northwest Territories.

The District of Alberta was created as part of the North-West Territories in 1882. As settlement increased, local representatives to the North-West Legislative Assembly were added. After a long campaign for autonomy, in 1905 the District of Alberta was enlarged and given provincial status, with the election of Alexander Cameron Rutherford as the first premier.

On June 21, 2013, during the 2013 Alberta floods Alberta experienced heavy rainfall that triggered catastrophic flooding throughout much of the southern half of the province along the Bow, Elbow, Highwood and Oldman rivers and tributaries. A dozen municipalities in Southern Alberta declared local states of emergency on June 21 as water levels rose and numerous communities were placed under evacuation orders.

Source: Wikipedia Alberta History [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta]

British Columbia Canada

The area that is now known as British Columbia is home to [First Nations] groups that have a deep history with a significant percentage of indigenous languages. There are more than 200 First Nations in BC. Prior to contact (with non-Aboriginal people) human history is known from archaeological investigations, oral history of First Nations groups, and from early records from explorers encountering societies early in the period.

The arrival of Paleoindians from Beringia took place between 20,000 and 12,000 years ago. Hunter gatherer families were the main social structure from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. The nomadic population lived in non-permanent structures foraging for nuts, berries and edible roots while hunting and trapping larger and small game for food and furs. Around 5,000 years ago individual groups started to focus on resources available to them locally. Thus with the passage of time there is a pattern of increasing regional generalization with a more sedentary lifestyle. Theses indigenous populations evolved over the next 5,000 years across a large area, into many different groups with shared traditions and customs.

To the northwest of the province are the peoples of the Na-Dene languages, which include the Athapaskan-speaking peoples and the Tlingit, who lived on the islands of southern Alaska and northern British Columbia. The Na-Dene language group is believed to be linked to the Yeniseian languages of Siberia. The Dene of the western Arctic may represent a distinct wave of migration from Asia to North America. The Interior of British Columbia was home to the Salishan language groups such as the Shuswap (Secwepemc), Okanagan and Athabaskan language groups, primarily the Dakelh (Carrier) and the Tsilhqot’in. The inlets and valleys of the British Columbia Coast sheltered large, distinctive populations, such as the Haida, Kwakwaka’wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth, sustained by the region’s abundant salmon and shellfish. These peoples developed complex cultures dependent on the western red cedar that included wooden houses, seagoing whaling and war canoes and elaborately carved potlatch items and totem poles.

Contact with Europeans brought a series of devastating epidemics of diseases from Europe that the people had no immunity to. The result was a dramatic population collapse, culminating in the 1862 Smallpox outbreak in Victoria that spread throughout the coast. European settlement did not bode well for the remaining native population of British Columbia. Colonial officials deemed that colonists could make better use of the land than the First Nations people, and thus the land territory be owned by the colonists. To ensure colonists would be able to settle properly and make use of the land, natives were relocated onto reserves, which were often too small to support their way of life. By the 1930s, over 1500 reserves were located within British Columbia.

Source: Wikipedia-British Columbia History [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Columbia]

Ontario, Canada

The History of Ontario covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day. The lands that make up present-day Ontario, the most populous province of Canada as of the early 21st century, have been inhabited for millennia by groups of Aboriginal people, with French and British exploration and colonization commencing in the 17th century. Before the arrival of Europeans, the region was inhabited both by Algonquian (Ojibwa, Cree and Algonquin) and Iroquoian (Iroquois,Petun and Huron) tribes.

A French explorer Étienne Brûlé explored part of the area in 1610–12. The English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into Hudson Bay in 1611 and claimed the area for England, but Samuel de Champlain reached Lake Huron in 1615 and French missionaries began to establish posts along the Great Lakes, forging alliances in particular with the Huron people. Permanent French settlement was hampered by their hostilities with the Iroquois five leagues (based in New York State), who were allied with the British. By the early 1650s, using both British and Dutch arms, they had succeeded in pushing other related Iroquoian speaking peoples, the Petun and Neutral Nation out of or to the fringes of territorial southern Ontario.

The British established trading posts on Hudson Bay in the late 17th century and began a struggle for domination of Ontario. The1763 Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years’ War by awarding nearly all of France’s North American possessions (New France) to Britain.

The region was annexed to Quebec in 1774. The first European settlements were in 1782-1784 when 5,000 American loyalistsentered what is now Ontario following the American Revolution. From 1783 to 1796, Britain granted them 200 acres (0.8 km²) of land and other items with which to rebuild their lives. This measure substantially increased the population of Canada west of the St. Lawrence-Ottawa River confluence during this period, a fact recognized by the Constitutional Act of 1791, which split Quebec intoThe Canadas: Upper Canada southwest of the St. Lawrence-Ottawa River confluence, and Lower Canada east of it. John Graves Simcoe was appointed Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant-Governor in 1793.

Source: Wikipedia-History of Ontario [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ontario]