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Beaver (Steamer)

From 1862 to 1874 the HBC trader became Her Majesty's Hired Survey Ship Beaver. After the HBC sold the ship in 1874, it was used as a workhorse and tow until 1888, when it was wrecked in the First Narrows in Vancouver harbour. Only a few relics remain.

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Sutil and Mexicana

In 1792, after exploratory voyages by Spaniards Manuel Quimper (1790) and Francisco de Eliza (1791), the extent of Juan de Fuca Strait remained a mystery. Some still believed the strait held the entry to the fabled Northwest Passage.

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Rupert's Land

Rupert’s Land was a vast territory of northern wilderness. It represented a third of what is now Canada. From 1670 to 1870, it was the exclusive commercial domain of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and the primary trapping grounds of the fur trade. The territory was named after Prince Rupert, the HBC’s first governor. Three years after Confederation, the Government of Canada acquired Rupert’s Land from the HBC for $1.5-million. It is the largest real estate transaction (by land area) in the country’s history. The purchase of Rupert’s Land transformed Canada geographically. It changed from a modest country in the northeast of the continent into an expansive one that reached across North America. Rupert’s Land was eventually divided among Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

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Trail of '98

Trail of '98, a reference to the Chilkoot Trail and other northern trails scaled by prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush, which was at its height in 1898. Robert W. Service tells the story of these prospectors in his first novel, The Trail of '98 (1910).

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Yukon Field Force

Yukon Field Force (1898-1900), composed of 203 officers and men drawn from all 3 branches (cavalry, artillery and infantry) of the Permanent Force of the Canadian Militia.

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Red Coat Trail

A number of highways in southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta roughly follow the original route. The ride was re-enacted in 1999, the 125th anniversary of the march.

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Rooster Town

Rooster Town was a largely Métis community that existed on the southwest fringes of suburban Winnipeg from 1901 until the late 1950s. While there were numerous urban Métis fringe communities on the Prairies and in British Columbia, their history has been relatively forgotten.

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Vancouver Feature: Gassy Jack Lands on the Burrard Shore

When Capt. Jack Deighton and his family pulled their canoe onto the south shore of the Burrrard Inlet in 1867, Jack was on one more search for riches. He had been a sailor on British and American ships, rushed for gold in California and the Cariboo, piloted boats on the Fraser River and ran a tavern in New Westminster. He was broke again, but he wasted no time in starting a new business and building the settlement that would become Vancouver.

Macleans

Romanow Re-elected

Perhaps it should have been surprising. After all, it has been fashionable so far this year to elect Conservative provincial governments, with Tories winning in Manitoba and Ontario.

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Promyshlennik

A Promyshlennik is a Russian (chiefly Cossack) free-lance exploiter of natural resources, notably furs. Like the coureurs de bois, promyshlenniki had a sure instinct for rivers, forests and terrain.

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Anson Northup

Anson Northup, the first of many steamers to navigate the Red River from Minnesota to the Red River Colony. Shortly after its arrival in Fort Garry in June 1859, the Anson Northup was purchased by the Hudson's Bay Company and entrepreneur J.C. Burbank, who renamed it the Pioneer.

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Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA)

The Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) was a branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada with a focus on Western Canada. It was headquartered in Regina, Saskatchewan. The PFRA also had 22 district offices throughout the Prairie provinces. The agency began in response to the drought crisis of the 1930s in the Prairies. However, for nearly eight decades, it continued to help farmers conserve soil, prevent erosion, develop water resources and manage pasture land.

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Smallpox in Canada

Smallpox is an infectious disease caused by the variola virus. The disease arrived in what is now Canada with French settlers in the early 17th century. Indigenous people had no immunity to smallpox, resulting in devastating infection and death rates. In 1768, arm-to-arm inoculation became more widely practised in North America. By 1800, advances in vaccination helped control the spread of smallpox. Public health efforts also reduced rates of infection. In the 20th century, Canadian scientists helped the World Health Organization eradicate smallpox. Eradication was achieved in 1979, but virus stocks still exist for research and safety reasons.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.