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Land Force Western Area

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Land Force Western Area
LandForceWesternArea.jpg
Active1 September 1991 – June 2014
CountryCanada
BranchCanadian Army
TypeHeadquarters
Part ofCanadian Army
Garrison/HQCFB Edmonton
Motto(s)Pace Paratus ad Arma "In peace prepared for war"
March"Invercargil"
Websitewww.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/western/index.page
AbbreviationLFWA

Land Force Western Area (LFWA) was a formation of the Canadian Army responsible for operations in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.[1] LFWA was headquartered at CFB Edmonton. The command was formed in 1991. In 2013 it was announced that LFWA would be renamed 3rd Canadian Division.[2] This change took place in the summer of 2014.

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  • Uncharted Territory: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau

Transcription

MAPS. KNOWING WHERE WE ARE ON THIS EARTH. POWERFUL INFORMATION THAT OPENS UP NEW WORLDS. 200 YEARS AGO, CANADIAN EXPLORER, FUR TRADER AND SURVEYOR DAVID THOMPSON MAPPED THE UNCHARTED VAST INTERIOR OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. HE RETRACED THOUSANDS OF ANCIENT TRIBAL TRAILS. "HE'S AS MUCH A MAPMAKER OF THE CANADIAN IMAGINATION AS HE IS A SURVEYOR AND CARTOGRAPHER." THOMPSON WAS LIKE A HUMAN MAP-QUEST. ARMED WITH A SEXTANT, HE SPENT DECADES IN THE WILDERNESS TRAVELING 55,000 MILES BY SNOWSHOE, HORSEBACK, DOGSLED, AND CANOE, USING THE STARS TO MAP ONE FIFTH OF THE CONTINENT, 1.5 MILLION SQUARE MILES. "THERE WERE TIMES WHEN IT WAS 20-30 DEGREES BELOW ZERO" "HIS MIND, WAS THIS BIG COMPLEX MIND WORKING ON A LOT OF CYLINDERS" IN SALISH, HIS NAME WAS KOO KOO SINT, THE MAN WHO LOOKS AT STARS. "THERE'S SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL AND UNIQUE ABOUT USING A SEXTANT, LOOKING AT THE STARS, LOOKING TO THE HEAVENS TO FIND YOUR WAY ON EARTH." THOMPSON MAPPED AS FAR NORTH AS ATHABASCA, SOUTH TO THE MISSOURI, FROM HUDSON BAY. TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. EVEN LEWIS AND CLARK USED ONE OF THOMPSON'S MAPS. THOMPSON, SOME THINK, WAS THE GREATEST LAND "WHETHER IT'S THOMPSON SKETCHING MAPS OR WHETHER IT'S THOMPSON SKETCHING MOUNTAINS, OR THOMPSON SKETCHING THESE WONDERFUL SUCCINCT POETIC STATEMENTS ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND THEIR LANGUAGES AND THEIR INTERACTIONS, HE'S VERY RELEVANT" IN 1807, THOMPSON CROSSED THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE INTO UNCHARTED TERRITORY. HE WAS SEARCHING FOR THE COLUMBIA RIVER, THE INLAND NORTHWEST PASSAGE FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA. FOR FIVE YEARS, THOMPSON EXPLORED THE COLUMBIA PLATEAU, ITS RIVERS, AND THE UNIQUE PEOPLE WHO LIVED THERE. OUR STORY CENTERS ON THIS UNIQUE TIME. ♪ ♪ VOYAGEURS SINGING IT'S A COLD MAY MORNING ON THE NORTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER. BATTLING HEADWINDS, THE 2008 DAVID THOMPSON BRIGADE IS RETRACING A RIVER HIGHWAY FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO LAKE SUPERIOR. "THESE RIVER HIGHWAYS LED TO CANADA AS WE KNOW IT. AND, IT'S POSSIBLE TO GO FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS ALL THE WAY TO THE ATLANTIC, ALL THE WAY TO THE HUDSON BAY" THE FUR TRADE WAS BUILT ON THESE RIVER HIGHWAYS. TRADE GOODS WERE BROUGHT IN, FURS WERE BROUGHT OUT, ALMOST ALL BY WATER. IN ENGLAND, HIGH FASHION FELT HATS, WERE MADE OUT OF THE BEAVER FURS. EXTREMELY VALUABLE AND OFTEN PASSED FROM FATHER TO SON. THE VOYAGEURS, PRIMARILY FRENCH CANADIAN, WERE THE BACKBONE OF THE FUR TRADE. THE VOYAGEURS WRE LABORERS, THE HEAVY LIFTERS EXPECTED TO WORK 16 HOURS A DAY, PADDLING 55 STOKES PER MINUTE. THE BIRCH BARK CANOE WAS THE TRANSPORTATION OF CHOICE. "IT WAS THE SEMI TRAILER OF THE DAY, THERE'S JUST NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A 25' BOAT, FOUR FEET ACROSS THE BEAM, IT WAS ABLE TO CARRY A TON AND A HALF OF TRADE CARGO". THE NORTH AMERICAN FUR TRADE WAS BOOMING THE YEAR DAVID THOMPSON WAS BORN. BORN IN LONDON IN 1770, DAVID THOMPSON WAS RAISED BY HIS WIDOWED MOTHER IN THE TOUGH PART OF WESTMINSTER. AT SEVEN, HE ENTERED THE GREY COAT CHARITY SCHOOL, DEDICATED TO EDUCATING POOR CHILDREN. "IF YOU WERE SMART YOU GOT YOU GOT ON A HONOR'S TRACK, SO HE WAS TAKING TRIGONOMETRY WHEN HE WAS 12, 13 YEARS OLD AND GETTING GOOD AT IT. " THOMPSON LEARNED THE BASICS OF PRACTICAL NAVIGATION, THE USE OF A QUADRANT AND CROSS STAFF AND STANDARD METHODS FOR DETERMINING LATITUDE. "THE HUDSON'S BAY CO. KNEW ABOUT THESE CHARITY SCHOOLS AS DID THE BRITISH NAVY AND THEY WERE LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WITH SURVEYING SKILLS. " IN 1784, TWO STUDENTS WERE APPRENTICED TO THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY FOR SEVEN YEARS, TO WORK IN THE NORTH AMERICAN FUR TRADE. ONE RAN AWAY. THE OTHER WAS 14 YEAR OLD DAVID THOMPSON. "IT MUST HAVE BEEN PRETTY SHOCKING TO LAND ON THE SHORE OF HUDSON BAY, WHICH ALONE IS A PRETTY RUGGED PLACE, LET ALONE THE KIND OF PEOPLE HE WAS SURROUNDED BY" ".BEING THRUST INTO AN ALIEN LANDSCAPE WHILE STILL AN ADOLESCENT. LEARNING CREE, LEARNING PIEGAN, LEARNING FRENCH, COMING TO KNOW THE LANDS OF THE PEOPLE OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA FIRST HAND. " WITHIN MONTHS THE ALIEN LANDSCAPE FROZE. "THERE WERE PEOPLE THAT FOLDED UP UNDER THE PRESSURE OF BEING ABOVE THE TREE LINE. HE NEVER COMPLAINED ABOUT BEING COLD. HE GOES OUT AND LEARNS HOW TO HUNT POLAR BEARS, AND PTARMIGAN AND FISH AND LOOKS AT MOSQUITOES, AND I MEAN HIS BOUNDLESS CURIOSITY DEVELOPED AT THE GREY COAT SCHOOL IS GIVEN A WHOLE CONTINENT TO FLOURISH. " THE FUR TRADE WAS BOTH A NATIVE AND EUROPEAN WORLD. "WE MAKE A MISTAKE IN THINKING THAT WE LIVE IN A MULTICULTURAL AGE, BECAUSE IF WE LOOK BACK AT THE WORLD OF THE WEST, IN THE LATE 18TH AND EARLY 19TH CENTURIES, WE HAVE THE ABORIGINAL PRESENCE AND THERE IS SO MUCH DIVERSITY ALREADY JUST WITHIN THAT WORLD. SO YOU'RE HEARING ALL THE NATIVE LANGUAGES, YOU'RE HEARING ENGLISH, GAELIC, FRENCH, IT'S JUST SUCH A FANTASTIC TAPESTRY OR MOSAIC OF CULTURES. " AT 17, THOMPSON WAS SENT WEST TO WINTER WITH THE BLACKFEET AT A WINTERING CAMP NEAR CALGARY, ALBERTA. " AND THAT'S WHERE HE MET SAUKAMAPPEE AND KOOTENAI APPE, THE GREAT WAR CHIEF, AND SOKATOW THE CIVIL CHIEF. SO, HE FORMED A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PIEGAN, HE LEARNED THEIR LANGUAGE" "THERE'S 5 WHITE GUYS IN A WINTER CAMP OF ABOUT 25 HUNDRED BLACKFEET, BUT THE BLACKFEET ARE VERY HOSPITABLE TO THEM, AND THEY TAKE THIS YOUNG TEENAGER AND PUT HIM IN THE TENT OF AN ELDER WHICH WAS VERY GRACIOUS THING TO DO SO HE COULD LEARN SOMETHING DURING THE WINTER" DAVID THOMPSON JOURNAL: WE WERE LODGED IN THE TENT OF AN OLD MAN. HE WAS FULL SIX FEET IN HEIGHT, ERECT, AND OF A FRAME THAT SHOWED STRENGTH AND ACTIVITY. I SAT AND LISTENED WITHOUT BEING IN THE LEAST TIRED" THE ELDER WAS A CREE NAMED SAUKAMAPPEE. NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, THOMPSON LISTENED TO SAUKEMAPPE TELL STORIES. "SAUKAMAPPEE LIVED A LIFE PROBABLY AS INTERESTING AS THOMPSON'S. HE WITNESSED THE INTRODUCTION OF THE HORSE TO THE PLAINS. THE INTRODUCTION OF FIREARMS TO PLAINS WAR WARFARE. HE WITNESSED THE SMALLPOX EPIDEMIC. AND HE WAS ABLE TO RELATE ALL THAT TO THOMPSON AND THOMPSON IN TURN COULD RELATE IT TO US. " "IT'S REALLY EASY TO SEE HIS EDUCATION TO WESTERN NORTH AMERICA BEGINNING IN THAT TENT. " "DAVID THOMPSON HAD THE MISFORTUNE TO BREAK HIS LEG AND IT WAS SO SWELLED THAT I FOUND IT A DIFFICULT MATTER TO SET IT. WHATEVER THE CONSEQUENCE MAY BE IS YET UNCERTAIN,. . BUT SHALL HOPE FOR THE BEST. --- WILLIAM TOMISON HUDSON BAY COMPANY 1789" THOMPSON LEARNED PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY WHILE RECUPERATING FROM A BROKEN LEG WHEN HE WAS 19. HE STUDIED UNDER PHILIP TURNOR, THE BEST GEOGRAPHER IN THE NEW WORLD AT THE TIME. "BUT IF YOU GO THROUGH HIS JOURNALS, THEY'RE FILLED WITH ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATIONS AND TAKEN DOWN IN THE MOST METICULOUS MANNER. IT WAS A LABOR OF LOVE FOR HIM. HE WOULD GET UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO LOOK AT THE STARS. I MEAN YOU REALLY HAVE TO BE COMMITTED TO SOMETHING TO DO THAT. AND HE WOULD TAKE READINGS AGAIN AND AGAIN, OF A SINGLE PLACE AND THEN AVERAGED THEM OUT TO TRY TO PINPOINT THAT ONE SPOT ON THE SURFACE OF THE GLOBE. IT'S ALMOST SOMETHING IT SEEMS HE WAS COMPELLED TO DO. " IT'S A VERY SMALL WORLD OF PEOPLE WHO HAD THIS SKILL, AND THOMPSON, WHO IS COMING FROM NOWHERE IS IN IT, AND HE CAN DO IT AS GOOD AS ANYBODY" DENNY DEMEYER IS A LAND SURVEYOR AND A MEMBER OF THE SURVEYOR'S HISTORICAL SOCIETY. "THE EARLIEST DEFINITION OF SURVEYING WAS CALLED PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY, SO WE WERE ALL PRACTICAL ASTRONOMERS ONCE UPON A TIME" DEMEYER COLLECTS 200 YEAR OLD SURVEYING EQUIPMENT. "THIS IS A 10 INCH LATTICE WORK SEXTANT OF THE TYPE USED BY DAVID THOMPSON, IT WAS MANUFACTURED IN LONDON. SEXTANTS WERE USED TO MEASURE THE ANGLES BETWEEN CELESTIAL OBJECTS AND THE HORIZON TO LOCATE ONES POSITION ON THE GLOBE. "THE LARGE PROBLEM EVERYONE HAD WAS ESTABLISHING LONGITUDE. LATITUDE WAS FAIRLY EASY TO ESTABLISH AND THEY HAD BEEN DOING THAT SINCE THE 1500S, BUT LONGITUDE, HOW FAR EAST AND WEST YOU WERE, WAS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE. " THOMPSON USED MERCURY POURED INTO A TRAY TO CREATE AN ARTIFICIAL HORIZON. OTHER TOOLS INCLUDED A FOUR FOOT ACHROMATIC DOLLOND TELESCOPE, A WATCH, A THERMOMETER, THE LATEST EDITION OF THE NAUTICAL ALMANAC, AND OTHER REFERENCE TABLES. AFTER THOMPSON'S APPRENTICESHIP, HE CONTINUED TO WORK FOR THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. BUT AT AGE 27, THOMPSON ABRUPTLY LEFT THEIR EMPLOY. AFTER 13 YEARS OF SERVICE, HE WALKED TO THE NEAREST NORTH WEST COMPANY POST AND SIGNED ON WITH THE COMPETITION. "HE FELT HE WASN'T GETTING ENOUGH ENCOURAGEMENT TO GO ON SURVEYS. THAT THE HUDSON'S BAY CO. HAD A MEAN AND SELFISH POLICY, WHERE THE NORTHWEST CO WERE MORE LIBERAL MINDED. " "THOMPSON DID NOT GIVE HUDSON'S BAY A YEAR NOTICE AND THAT WAS CONSIDERED VERY BAD FORM" "WILLIAM TOMISON WROTE THAT IF HE EVER MET DAVID THOMPSON, HE WOULD BE TEMPTED TO PULL HIS EARS OFF, SO THERE CERTAINLY WERE PEOPLE WITHIN THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY THAT WERE VERY ANGRY WHEN DAVID THOMPSON LEFT." UNLIKE THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY, THAT WAS CONTROLLED FROM AFAR IN LONDON, THE NORTH WEST COMPANY WAS BASED OUT OF MONTREAL. THE PARTNERS, USUALLY SCOTS, SHARED IN THE PROFITS. THOMPSON'S FIRST ASSIGNMENT WAS AN AMBITIOUS ONE,. SURVEYING TRADING POSTS FROM THE GREAT LAKES TO NORTH DAKOTA. IN 10 MONTHS HE COVERED 4,000 MILES. ON THAT JOURNEY, THOMPSON TOOK THE FIRST ACCURATE LONGITUDE OF AN IMPORTANT MANDAN VILLAGE TRADING CENTER IN NORTH DAKOTA. HE INTERVIEWED ELDERS, GATHERING IMPORTANT TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE UPPER MISSOURI. " HE'S COMBINING TRIBAL INFORMATION AND OUTDOOR SKILLS THAT HE'S LEARNED IN HIS APPRENTICESHIP WITH EUROPEAN STYLE WRITING AND MAP MAKING AND IT'S QUITE AN ENGAGING MIX. AND HE GOES BACK AND MAKES A MAP OF WHAT HE CALLS THE BEND OF THE MISSOURI" THOMPSON'S ' BEND OF THE MISSOURI' MAP ENDS UP IN THE HANDS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON. " JEFFERSON MAKES SOME HANDWRITTEN NOTES ON THIS MAP OF THOMPSON AND ITS NOW IN OUR LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. THE TWO NOTES THAT JEFFERSON WRITES ON THERE ARE MR. THOMPSON'S LONGITUDE FOR THESE VILLAGES IS, AND HE KNOWS THAT'S IMPORTANT, AND THAT IS WHERE LEWIS & CLARK END UP SPENDING THEIR FIRST WINTER, IT'S THE PERFECT STOPPING POINT AND THEN ON THE OTHER SIDE IN REVERSE IT SAYS THIS MAP BELONGS TO CAPT. LEWIS. " "ON THIS DAY I MARRIED CHARLOTTE SMALL ... DAVID THOMPSON, JUNE 10, 1799" AT 29, THOMPSON MARRIED CHARLOTTE SMALL AT ILE A LA CROSSE , A TRADING POST ON THE CHURCHILL RIVER. OF MIXED BLOOD, CHARLOTTE'S MOTHER WAS NAHATHAWAY CREE AND HER FATHER, A SCOTTISH FUR TRADER. "THEY KNEW THAT THESE KINDS OF RELATIONSHIPS THAT THEY FORMED WITH NATIVE WOMEN, WOULD NOT QUALIFY AS MARRIAGES. THERE WERE NO MINISTERS AROUND, THERE WAS NO CHURCH. THEY DIDN'T VIEW THEM AS MARRIAGES IN THEIR EYES" "THE FUR TRADE DOESN'T WORK WITHOUT THEM. THOMPSON ALWAYS TRAVELS WITH WOMEN. HE IS DEPENDING ON THEM. AND HE HAS A MIXED BLOOD WIFE JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES. " "MY LOVELY WIFE IS OF THE BLOOD OF THESE PEOPLE, SPEAKING THEIR LANGUAGE AND WELL EDUCATED IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, WHICH GIVES ME A GREAT ADVANTAGE. " "THE TRADERS ALWAYS RECOGNIZED THAT THESE CONNECTIONS WERE IMPORTANT, THAT THEY NEEDED CONNECTIONS IF THEY WERE GOING TO SURVIVE. " "BECAUSE YOUR MOST LIKELY TO TRADE WITH YOUR BROTHER IN LAW OR YOUR SON IN LAW THAN YOU ARE GOING TO A COMPETITION WHERE YOU DON'T HAVE ANY KINSHIP TIES. " IN FALL OF 1800, THOMPSON AND HIS NEW WIFE, CHARLOTTE, ARRIVED AT ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE. THE POST, BUILT A YEAR EARLIER, STOOD UPSTREAM FROM A STRING OF POSTS ON THE UPPER SASKATCHEWAN. ALTHOUGH THE MOUNTAINS WERE BARELY IN VIEW, THE INTENTION WAS CLEAR. THE FUR TRADE WAS MOVING WEST, HEADING FOR THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. THE NOR'WESTERS WANTED TO ATTRACT THE TRADE OF THE KOOTENAI, A TRIBE ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS. "THE KOOTENAI ARE THIS REALLY COMPLEX TRIBE AND ONE OF THE FEW TRIBES THAT'S LIVING BOTH PLAINS CULTURE AND PLATEAU CULTURE TOGETHER, WHERE UPPER KOOTENAI PEOPLE GO BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS. " THE KOOTENAI ARE AN ANCIENT PEOPLE, WHO'VE LIVED ON THE COLUMBIA PLATEAU FOR OVER 10,000 YEARS. " OUR LANGUAGE IS AN ISOLATE LANGUAGE, THE KOOTENAI LANGUAGE, THERE IS NO OTHER LANGUAGE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH THAT IS LIKE IT. " "WE'RE ALL UPNUCKANICK, THAT'S THE TRUE TERM OF WHO WE ARE UPNUCKANICK" AT THAT TIME, THE PIEGAN, BLOOD AND BLACKFEET DOMINATED THE NORTHERN PLAINS. "THE PIEGAN FOR GENERATIONS HAVE BEEN SAVVY ABOUT PROTECTING THEIR INTERESTS". THEY ACTED AS MIDDLEMEN BETWEEN THE FUR TRADERS AND TRIBES WEST OF THE MOUNTAINS. " I WATCHED AS THE KOOTENAIS SWAPPED THEIR BEST HORSES AND DRESS FURS TO THE PIEGAN FOR OLD KETTLES AND BROKEN TOOLS. PETER FIDLER, HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY 1792" " THE PIEGAN AND THEIR ALLIES THE BLACKFOOT AND BLOOD DIDN'T REALLY LIKE THE FACT THAT THOMPSON WANTED TO MOVE THROUGH THEM AND TRADE DIRECTLY WITH GROUPS LIKE THE SALISH THE KOOTENAI AND ALL THOSE TRIBES ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS. " " THEY SEE EUROPEANS IN MUCH THE SAME WAY AS THEY WERE ACCUSTOMED TO SEEING OTHER FIRST NATIONS, NOT NECESSARILY AS FRIENDS OR FOES, BUT AS POTENTIAL THREATS, OR AS POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITY. " WHEN THE KOOTENAI TRIED TO TRADE DIRECTLY WITH THE EUROPEANS, THE PIEGAN HARASSED THEM AND TRIED TO STEAL THEIR HORSES. DAVID THOMPSON JOURNAL: OCTOBER 16, 1800 " I CAN NOT HELP BUT ADMIRE THOSE BRAVE UNDAUNTED KOOTENAI. WHEN THE YOUNG PIEGAN MEN SEIZED THE HEADS OF THEIR HORSES, THEY ALL ACTED AS IF BY ONE SOUL, BENT THEIR BOWS,. AND PREPARED TO MAKE THEIR OPPRESSORS QUIT THEIR HORSES OR SELL THEIR LIVES DEARLY" THE KOOTENAI WANTED THE FUR TRADERS TO BUILD A TRADING POST IN THEIR HOMELAND. ANXIOUS TO TAP THIS NEW SOURCE OF FURS, THE NORTH WEST COMPANY DECIDED TO EXPAND THEIR BUSINESS ACROSS THE ROCKIES IN 1806. THOMPSON, RECENTLY NAMED A PARTNER IN THE COMPANY, WAS PLACED IN CHARGE OF THE EXPEDITION. "MR. DAVID THOMPSON IS MAKING PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTEMPT TO CROSS THE MOUNTAINS, PASS THROUGH THE COUNTRY AND FOLLOW THE COLUMBIA RIVER TO THE SEA. .. JAMES BIRD, HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY 1807" THE COURSE WOULD FOLLOW AN ANCIENT KOOTENAI TRAIL, UP THE SASKATCHEWAN, OVER THE ROCKIES INTO KOOTENAI COUNTRY. IT'S TODAY'S HOWSE PASS. THOMPSON WAS NOW 36, CHARLOTTE 21, WITH THREE CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF SIX. THIS EXPEDITION WAS CAREFULLY PLANNED. AN ADVANCE PARTY, LED BY JACO FINLEY, WAS DISPATCHED TO IMPROVE THE KOOTENAI TRAIL ACROSS THE DIVIDE. "IT'S DESCRIBED AS LEADING AN EXPEDITION OVER, BUT YET THERE'S ALREADY PEOPLE OVER THERE, AND THERE'S PEOPLE BRINGING UP HORSES BEHIND THEM TO KEEP THEM SUPPLIED. IT'S THIS LONG STUTTERED SEQUENCE OF CACHING MATERIALS AND WAITING FOR THE SNOW TO MELT AND GETTING THE GUIDES HE WANTED IN PLACE. IT'S MUCH MORE LIKE AN ASCENT ON MT. EVEREST WHERE YOU HAVE BASE CAMPS AND YOU HAVE STUFF COMING UP AND YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO KNOW THAT THEY AREN'T GOING TO SUMMIT, BUT THEY'RE PART OF THE TEAM. " BY THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY, THE ICE WAS BREAKING UP ON THE SASKATCHEWAN. EIGHT VOYAGEURS WERE PICKED FOR THE EXPEDITION. TWO SEPARATE GROUPS TRAVELED TOWARD THE ROCKIES. CLERK FINAN MCDONALD WITH FIVE VOYAGEURS, HEADED UPSTREAM IN THEIR PACKED CANOE. THOMPSON AND THE REMAINING THREE RODE THROUGH THE WOODED FORESTS, LEADING A STRING OF PACKHORSES. CHARLOTTE AND THE CHILDREN, ALSO RODE OVERLAND ALONG WITH TWO OTHER FAMILIES, TRAILED BY A BUNCH OF CAMP DOGS. "AND HIS CREW IS SO STEADY, THAT YOU SORT OF DEVELOP THIS AFFINITY AND GET THIS FEELING THAT IT'S NOT JUST THOMPSON. SO AGAIN, HE'S SORT OF THIS ROLLING TRAVELING CIRCUS. " THOMPSON'S DAILY WEATHER REPORT SEEMED TO REFLECT HIS OPTIMISM FOR THE JOURNEY. "A FINE DAY", "A VERY FINE DAY", "A DAY WITH FLYING CLOUDS" THOMPSON: "I HAD A VERY EXTENSIVE VIEW OF THE COUNTRY. HILLS AND ROCKS RISING ONE BEHIND ANOTHER, HIGHER AND HIGHER TO THE SNOWY SUMMITS OF THE MOUNTAINS. NEVER BEFORE DID I BEHOLD SO PERFECT A RESEMBLANCE TO THE WAVES OF THE OCEAN IN THE WINTRY STORM. " FOLLOWING JOCKO FINLEY'S MARKED PATH UP THE OLD KOOTENAI TRAIL, THE PARTY CLIMBED TO THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE,. WHICH THOMPSON CALLED THE "HEIGHT OF LAND. " " THE ROCKIES ARE VERY INTIMIDATING, AND HE'S NOT A MOUNTAIN GUY. HE'S CUT HIS TEETH IN THE PRAIRIE. AND IT'S JUST SO DISORIENTING TO GET UP INTO HIGH MOUNTAINS. " JUNE 15, 1807 "THE SNOWS ARE NOW RUSHING DOWN WITH THE NOISE THAT WE CAN HARDLY PERSUADE OURSELVES IT IS NOT THUNDER - WE HEAR IT AT LEAST EVERY HOUR. " "IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN IN THE ROCKIES DURING SPRING RUNOFF, IT'S EXCITING. THERE'S A LOT OF NOISE, THERE'S A LOT OF STUFF COMING DOWN, THERE'S A LOT OF WATER RUNNING, IT'S HARD TO DO ANYTHING. EXCEPT STAND THERE AND BE IN AWE OF IT" THE TRAIL UP WAS RELATIVELY EASY, BUT GOING DOWN THE WEST SLOPE OF THE ROCKIES WAS A DIFFERENT MATTER ALTOGETHER. DAVID THOMPSON: "THE HORSES ROLLED DOWN SO OFTEN, AND RECEIVED SUCH VIOLENT SHOCKS FROM THE TREES AS TO DEPRIVE THEM FOR A TIME OF MOTION. " DURING THE STEEP DESCENT, THE NOR'WESTERS WERE FORCED BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE RAGING BLAEBERRY RIVER, WILD WITH RUNOFF. " AND HE'S GOT VOYAGEURS THAT ARE SWIMMING ACROSS HOLDING ON TO HORSES MANES OR TAILS, WHO HE'S WORRIED ABOUT BECAUSE NONE OF THEM CAN EVER SWIM. HE NEVER MENTIONS CHARLOTTE, HIS WIFE OR HIS KIDS AGED 5, 3, AND 1. I MEAN IT'S REALLY HARD TO IMAGINE HOW THEY'RE GETTING ACROSS WITHOUT BEING IN DANGER. " THE DENSE TRAIL, POORLY CLEARED BY JACO FINLEY AND HIS MEN THE SUMMER BEFORE, WAS PRACTICALLY IMPASSABLE. THOMPSON WAS FURIOUS WITH JACO, HIS MEN EXHAUSTED. THOMPSON REPORT: "THE ROAD WAS NOWHERE CLEARED ANY MORE THAN JUST TO PERMIT JACO AND HIS FAMILY TO SQUEEZE THROUGH IT WITH THEIR LIGHT BAGGAGE, AND IT IS OF THE OPINION OF EVERY MAN WITH ME, THAT JACO OUGHT TO LOSE AT LEAST HALF HIS WAGES" IN LATE JUNE, THOMPSON'S PARTY REACHED THE BANKS OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER, NEAR GOLDEN, BRITISH COLUMBIA. "HE HITS THE COLUMBIA AT A VERY BEAUTIFUL PLACE WHERE THE BLAEBERRY COMES INTO IT. IT'S THIS WIDE VALLEY, WITH LOTS OF WETLANDS" SINCE THE HEADWATERS OF THE COLUMBIA RUN NORTH FOR 300 MILES BEFORE CURVING SOUTH, THOMPSON HAD NO IDEA HE'D FOUND THE HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER GREAT RIVER OF THE WEST THE REMAINING LINK TO A NORTHWEST PASSAGE. THOMPSON'S FIRST PRIORITY WAS TO FIND THE TRIBES AND ESTABLISH TRADE. HE MOVED HIS PARTY SOUTH, UPSTREAM, LOOKING FOR THE KOOTENAI, BUT THEY WERE NOT THERE TO MEET HIM. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, THERE'S NO FOOD, AND THE BIRCH BARK IS TOO THIN FOR BUILDING CANOES. "HE KNOWS THE RULES HAVE CHANGED BUT HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND HOW. HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE NEW RULES ARE. " "CROSSING OVER THE MOUNTAINS, IT'S A DIFFERENT ECOSYSTEM. IT'S TIED TO THE PACIFIC AS OPPOSED TO THE ATLANTIC. YOU'RE NOT DEALING WITH CULTURES DEPENDENT ON THE BISON OR THE CARIBOU AS HE KNEW. " THOMPSON JOURNALS: JULY 19, 1807 "THE COUNTRY IS EXTREMELY POOR IN PROVISIONS, NOTHING LARGER THAN A CHEVERUIL, AND WE ARE IN ALL 17 MOUTHS TO FEED" " AT THE TIME, IF YOU'RE LIVING ON THE PRAIRIE, THERE'S 50 MILLION BUFFALO AND 50 MILLION PRONG HORN ANTELOPE. SO HE HAS A VERY STEEP LEARNING CURVE" THOMPSON JOURNALS: "THE MEN WERE NOW SO WEAK, THAT HOWEVER WILLING, THEY ACTUALLY HAD NOT THE STRENGTH TO WORK. " " I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO SEE THOMPSON FLIPPED FROM THIS THIS HYPER COMPETENT INDIVIDUAL TO SOMEONE WHO NOW IS FACING STARVATION ON A REGULAR BASIS. ALL OF A SUDDEN, NOW HE HAS TO STEP BACK AND BECOME THE STUDENT ." A BAND OF KOOTENAI FINALLY ARRIVED. THOMPSON JOURNALS: "THE KOOTENAI SAW OUR FAMISHED LOOKS AND ASKING NO QUESTIONS, GAVE EVERYONE A SUFFICIENCY TO EAT, WHICH WAS MOST GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED. " THOMPSON BUILT THE FIRST TRADE POST AT THE SOURCE LAKES OF THE COLUMBIA, JUST ABOVE LAKE WINDERMERE. HE NAMED IT KOOTENAI HOUSE. TODAY, PARKS CANADA ARCHEOLOGIST BILL PERRY AND HIS CREW, DIG FOR 200 YEAR OLD ARTIFACTS AT THE HISTORIC KOOTENAI HOUSE SITE. "DAVID THOMPSON WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF A FUR TRADE SO HE WAS TRADING WITH A LOT OF NATIVES SO WE'RE EXPECTING A LOT OF NATIVE CAMP SITE ACTIVITIES OVER HERE" KOOTENAI HOUSE CONSISTED OF THREE BUILDINGS WITH PALISADE WALLS FOR PROTECTION. THOMPSON'S JOURNAL: " 30 PIEGAN MEN ARE ON THERE WAY HERE. " THEY HAVE IT IN THEIR POWER TO BE VERY TROUBLESOME TO US AND EVEN TO CUT US OFF;" THE PIEGANS ARE HIGHLY JEALOUS OF THE KOOTENAIS HAVING A POST FOR TRADE AMONG THEM. " "THE LAST THING THE PIEGANS WANT TO HAVE IS GUNS IN THE HANDS OF THE KOOTENAI. WHEN THOMPSON STARTS LOOKING TO CROSS THE MOUNTAINS AND TRADE GUNS DIRECTLY TO THE KOOTENAI, THE PIEGAN SEE HIM AS AN ARMS DEALER. YOU ASKED A MOMENT AGO, WHY DIDN'T THEY KILL HIM, THEY THOUGHT ABOUT IT, DON'T THINK IT DIDN'T CROSS THEIR MINDS, BUT IT IS A COMPLICATED SITUATION YOU SEE, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE THAT EMPLOY THOMPSON ARE THE SAME PEOPLE THAT PROVIDE THE PIEGAN WITH THE BLANKETS AND THE COPPER POTS AND THE GLASS BEADS AND THE GUNS " IN TRUTH, THOMPSON TRADED FEW GUNS AND NO ALCOHOL WEST OF THE MOUNTAINS. "BECAUSE HE KEEPS TRACK OF EVERYTHING. HE'S ALWAYS COUNTING WHAT HE HAS. AND IF YOU LOOK AT THOSE TRADE LISTS THERE ARE HARDLY ANY FIRE ARMS INVOLVED. I MEAN THERE ARE JUST TINY NUMBERS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO HEAVY TO CARRY AND HE HAS TO CARRY EVERYTHING FROM LAKE SUPERIOR. MOST OF THE TRADE GOODS WERE DIRECTED TOWARD WOMEN; AWLS FOR PUNCHING HOLES, FLINT AND STEEL FOR STARTING FIRES, COPPER POTS, SEWING NEEDLES, WOOL BLANKETS AND LINEN SHIRTS. IN EARLY FALL, 1807, THOMPSON WAS READY TO EXPLORE, OR WHAT HE CALLED, "GOING ON DISCOVERY". "THE ELDERS THAT HE'S DEALING WITH, THEY SAY YOU CAN'T GO. WELL, HE SAYS, WHY CAN'T I GO, YOU'VE GOT TO WAIT FOR UGLY HEAD FOR HE'S THE GUIDE WITH THE POLITICAL SKILLS AND THE LANGUAGE SKILLS AND THE INTEGRITY TO SHOW YOU AROUND. I MEAN, YOU CAN'T JUST GO FROM ONE NATION TO ANOTHER. " UGLY HEAD, IS A KOOTENAI CHIEF, SO NAMED BECAUSE OF HIS UNUSUAL HEAD OF CURLY HAIR. "THERE ARE ALL THESE DOORS AND UGLY HEAD IS THE GUY THAT HAS ALL THE KEYS AND IS GOING TO OPEN THE DOOR THAT HE WANTS TO. " "THEY'RE GIVING HIM INFORMATION ON A PIECE BY PIECE BASES, A LITTLE BIT AT A TIME, HE HAS TO EARN THAT TRUST" CHIEF UGLY HEAD AND HIS WIFE TOOK THOMPSON ON HIS FIRST REAL "DISCOVERY" OF THE AREA. " AND THEY START RIDING UPSTREAM ON THE COLUMBIA, AND THEY RIDE ACROSS THE CANAL FLATS PORTAGE, WHICH IS A ONE-MILE PORTAGE THAT TAKES YOU TO KOOTENAY RIVER, AND THOMPSON IS JUST SORT OF BLOWN AWAY. IT'S FABULOUSLY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY AND THEY GO DOWN TO THE ST. MARY'S RIVER, AND UGLY HEAD GOES "WELL I LIVE IN BONNERS FERRY I WANT TO TAKE THIS SHORT CUT OVER THE MOUNTAINS TO GET THERE, LET'S GO"... AND HE POINTS TO THESE MOUNTAINS THAT ARE ALREADY COVERED WITH SNOW AND SAYS IT WILL JUST TAKE A FEW WEEKS. THOMPSON IS INTIMIDATED BY THE MOUNTAINS FOR SURE. HE'S WORRIED ABOUT CHARLOTTE AND THE KIDS BACK AT KOOTENAI HOUSE BECAUSE SO FAR THERE HAVE BEEN MORE BLACKFEET THAN KOOTENAIS AT KOOTENAI HOUSE THOMPSON RETURNED TO SPEND HIS FIRST WINTER ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS AT KOOTENAI HOUSE. " BOTH CANADIANS AND INDIANS OFTEN INQUIRED OF ME WHY I PASSED WHOLE NIGHTS WITH MY INSTRUMENTS LOOKING AT THE MOON AND STARS. I TOLD THEM IT WAS TO DETERMINE THE DISTANCE AND DIRECTION FROM THE PLACE I OBSERVED TO OTHER PLACES, NEITHER THE CANADIANS NOR THE INDIANS BELIEVED ME; FOR BOTH ARGUED THAT IF WHAT I SAID WAS TRUTH, I OUGHT TO LOOK TO THE GROUND, AND OVER IT; AND NOT TO THE STARS "NOT ONLY NATIVE PEOPLE BUT HIS OWN FRENCH-CANADIAN EMPLOYEES WOULD COME TO HIM AND ASK HIM TO SOMEHOW CONTROL NATURE FOR THEM. RAISE A WIND FOR US, MAKE THE GAME COME TO US. THEY ALL THOUGHT THAT WHAT HE WAS DOING WHEN HE WAS OBSERVING THE SKIES WAS SOMEHOW SEEING WHAT WAS HAPPENING FAR AWAY, OR SEEING INTO THE FUTURE" THOMPSON FOUND TIME TO WORK ON HIS MAPS DURING THE WINTER. HE'D DRAW NUMEROUS SMALL CHARTS, USING COORDINATES AND COMPASS COURSES FROM HIS SURVEY NOTEBOOKS. LATER THE CHARTS WERE LINED-UP AND CONNECTED, FITTING TOGETHER LIKE TILES ON A FLOOR. THOMPSON'S FIRST YEAR WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS WAS CLOSE TO BEING HIS LAST. THE SMALL NUMBER OF FURS COLLECTED CAST DOUBT ON THE COMMERCIAL VALUE OF THE COLUMBIA. THOMPSON, FRUSTRATED, WROTE LETTERS BACK TO HIS PARTNERS SAYING THE KOOTENAI DID NOT UNDERSTAND COMMERCIAL LEVEL TRAPPING. "TO HIM, HE WANTS EVERY FAMILY TO GET A PACK OR TWO PACKS OF FURS, THAT'S BETWEEN 60 AND OVER 100 BEAVER, EVERY WINTER FROM NOW ON FOREVER. THEY CAN'T UNDERSTAND THAT. THAT'S ONE OF THOSE CULTURAL DISJUNCTS THAT DON'T MAKE ANY SENSE. WHY WOULD YOU TRAP THAT MANY BEAVER? " THE PLATEAU TRIBES TRADITIONALLY GAMBLED, DANCED AND SPIRITUALLY RESTORED THEMSELVES IN THE WINTER. "HE IS ALWAYS GOING CRAZY HARANGUING THEM TO GO TRAP, IT'S WINTER, THE PELTS ARE PRIME, WHY AREN'T YOU TRAPPING? AND THEY GO, OH WE CAN'T. WE HAVE TO SPIRITUALLY RESTORE OURSELVES, THIS IS WHAT WE DO IN THE WINTER. WE WORK ALL YEAR SO THAT WE CAN NOW DO THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO US. AND HE SEES THIS DEEP SPIRITUALITY AS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THEIR CULTURE. " IN SPRING 1808, THOMPSON AND FOUR VOYAGEURS RETRACED HIS SHORT TRIP OF THE PREVIOUS FALL AND CONTINUED SOUTH, DOWN STEAM ON THE KOOTENAY RIVER. THIS TIME, THOMPSON RODE IN A CANOE WITH A COMPASS, RECORDING EACH SMALL CHANGE OF DIRECTION WHILE ESTIMATING THE DISTANCE IN FRACTIONS OF MILES. THE PARTY CROSSED THE 49TH PARALLEL IN WHAT IS NOW NORTHWESTERN MONTANA. TO BRING IN MORE BEAVER PACKS, THOMPSON PLANNED TO RENDEZVOUS WITH A GROUP OF KOOTENAI GUIDES, THEN MOVE SOUTH TO OPEN TRADE WITH THE FLATHEAD IN MONTANA. BUT WHEN HIS GUIDES DID NOT APPEAR, THE NOR'WESTERS CONTINUED DOWNSTREAM ALONE, CROSSING OVER THE STEEP DANGEROUS PORTAGE OF KOOTENAI FALLS. 23 YEAR OLD DAN BLACKBURN, A PROFESSIONAL KAYAKER, GREW UP ON THE KOOTENAI RIVER. "WHEN I STARTED KAYAKING THAT WAS MY MAIN GOAL IS TO GO OVER KOOTENAI FALLS, BECAUSE I HEARD PEOPLE COULD DO IT. IT'S A MILE AND A HALF OF WORLD CLASS WHITE WATER" TODAY, KOOTENAI FALL'S WATER LEVEL IS CONTROLLED BY LIBBY DAM, IN MONTANA. BUT IN THOMPSON'S DAY THE WATER WAS FREE FLOWING; MUCH STRONGER THAN IT IS TODAY THREE HUNDRED FEET ABOVE THE RIVER, OVER SHARP ROCKS, BLACKBURN WITH A FRIEND PORTAGE KOOTENAI FALLS, FOLLOWING THE SAME TRIBAL TRAIL THAT THOMPSON'S PARTY USED SO MANY YEARS AGO. DAN BLACKBURN: "WE'RE BASICALLY SEEING THE SAME THINGS, IT'S A REALLY COOL FEELING TO THINK BACK THAT FAR, PRETTY HUMBLING. " THOMPSON: MAY 6, 1808 "OUR HEIGHT AT TIMES WAS ABOUT 300 FEET ABOVE THE RIVER, THE LEAST SLIP WOULD HAVE BEEN INEVITABLE DEATH. EACH MAN HAD TWO PAIRS OF SHOES ON HIS FEET, BUT THEY WERE CUT TO PIECES. " THAT MAY, THE NOR'WESTERS ARRIVED AT BONNER'S FERRY, IDAHO; THE HOME OF UGLY HEAD'S PEOPLE. IN THE SUMMER OF 2008, TRIBAL LEADERS AND HISTORIANS SET UP AN ENCAMPMENT NEAR THE SPOT THE KOOTENAI AND THOMPSON SHARED IN THE SPRING OF 1808. "I HAD THIS VISION ABOUT AN ENCAMPMENT AND THE INFLUENCE THAT DAVID THOMPSON HAD ON THE KOOTENAI PEOPLE AND VICE VERSA, AND HERE WE ARE. " TIM RYAN AND OTHER TRIBAL MEMBERS SHARE THEIR KNOWLEDGE. "THE NATURAL WORLD OUT THERE, THE FORESTS ARE KIND OF LIKE OUR CHURCHES. " RYAN MAKES ITEMS USED BY HIS NATIVE ANCESTORS WITH THE SAME MATERIALS AND HAND-MADE TOOLS. " MY PRIORITY IS TO LEARN THESE SKILLS AND ASSURE THAT THESE SKILLS ARE STILL PRESENT WITHIN OUR CULTURE AND THAT THEY'RE STILL PRACTICED" THOMPSON USED BONNER'S FERRY AS A BASE AND PADDLED NORTH TOWARD KOOTENAY LAKE, THE HOME OF THE FLAT BOW BAND. "KOOTENAY LAKE USED TO BE THE HEARTBEAT OF OUR PEOPLE, THE FLAT BOW AND ALL THE STREAMS AND RIVERS THAT FLOWED INTO KOOTENAY LAKE, IT WAS LIKE ARTERIES" FOR GENERATIONS, WAYNE LOUIS'S FAMILY HAS LIVED NEAR KOOTENAY LAKE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA. " WHEN IT USED TO FLOOD, IN THE OLD DAYS BEFORE DAMS WERE PUT IN, THIS USED TO BECOME ONE BIG DELTA, THIS WHOLE VALLEY. THIS WHOLE VALLEY ONE BIG DELTA TO NAVIGATE THE DELTA, THE KOOTENAI DESIGNED THE DISTINCTIVE STURGEON-NOSED CANOE. "THE ELDERS USED TO SAY WHEN YOU GOT TO THIS STAGE THIS RESEMBLED A SKELETON OF A STURGEON. IT DOES BECAUSE THE SNOUTS THERE, HERE'S RIBS AND BONES. AT HIGH WATER TIME WHEN THE BULL RUSHES WERE UP, THESE CANOES USED TO BE ABLE TO NAVIGATE THROUGH THE BULL RUSHES. " THOMPSON ADMIRED THE STURGEON-NOSED CANOES. "WHEN DAVID THOMPSON CAME UP HERE, HE CAME UP HERE IN MAY. THAT WAS THE HIGH WATER TIME,. ..AND HE TRAVELED THE ROUTE UP HERE, THE RIVER, AND HE WENT ALL THE WAY UP TO THE HISTORIC WATER LEVEL, IT'S CALLED KOOTENAY LANDING. " NEAR THAT POINT, THE KOOTENAY RIVER HEADS WEST JOINING THE COLUMBIA. THOMPSON DID NOT INVESTIGATE FURTHER, BUT INSTEAD HURRIED BACK TO A FLOODED BONNER'S FERRY HOPING TO TRADE WITH A GROUP OF FLATHEAD WHO WERE SUPPOSEDLY ON THEIR WAY TO THE KOOTENAI ENCAMPMENT. MAY 17, 1808 "HERE WE RECEIVED THE DISAGREEABLE NEWS OF THE FLAT HEADS BEING UNABLE TO COME HERE ON ACCOUNT OF THE FLOODING OF THE COUNTRY, THUS ALL MY FINE HOPES ARE RUINED" IN A LETTER, THOMPSON EXPRESSED HIS FRUSTRATION AT BEING CUT OFF FROM THE TRIBES BY WINTER SNOW AND SPRING FLOODS. THOMPSON JOURNAL MAY 17, 1808: "THE FLATHEADS WERE ONLY 12 DAY'S MARCH FROM US LAST WINTER AND THE LAKE INDIANS ONLY 6 DAYS AND YET BOTH ARE COMPLETELY SHUT UP BY MOUNTAINS AS IF THEY WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE, AND THE WATERS RISING IN THE SUMMER HAVE NEARLY THE SAME EFFECT. THOMPSON COULD WAIT NO LONGER FOR THE FLATHEADS. HE HAD A LONG TRADE RUN TO MAKE BACK TO LAKE SUPERIOR. AFTER RECROSSING HOWSE PASS, HE DROPPED CHARLOTTE AND THE KIDS OFF WITH RELATIVES AT BOGGY HALL, AND THEN CONTINUED DOWN THE SASKATCHEWAN. PERHAPS BECAUSE OF THE PIEGAN THREAT, CHARLOTTE NEVER AGAIN TRAVEL WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. IN THE SUMMER OF 1809, THOMPSON DECIDED TO BUILD A TRADE POST MORE CENTRALLY LOCATED TO THE PLATEAU TRIBES. HE CLOSED UP KOOTENAI HOUSE AND MOVED HIS ENTIRE PARTY DOWN THE KOOTENAI RIVER, SOUTH OVER THE GREAT ROAD TO THE FLATHEADS,. TO A LARGE TRIBAL ENCAMPMENT ON LAKE PEND OREILLE. THOMPSON JOURNAL: SEPTEMBER 9, 1809 "THEY ALL SMOKED, 54 FLAT HEADS, 23 POINTED HEARTS, AND 4 KOOTANAIS - IN ALL ABOUT 80 MEN. THEN THEY MADE US A HANDSOME PRESENT OF DRIED SALMON AND OTHER FISH WITH BERRIES" "THEY TAKE HIM TO THIS AMAZING MIXED TRIBAL ENCAMPMENT NEAR HOPE, IDAHO WHERE EVERYBODY IS, ALL THE FLATHEADS AND KOOTENAIS AND KALISPEL, BUT ALSO OKANOGAN AND SANDPOINT AND COEUR D'ALENE AND NEZ PERCE, I MEAN EVERYBODY'S THERE" THE ENCAMPMENT WAS LOCATED AT A PLACE CALLED INDIAN MEADOWS ON THE BANKS OF LAKE PEND OREILLE. THOMPSON BUILT KULLYSPELL HOUSE, NAMED AFTER THE KALISPEL PEOPLE THAT LIVED THERE. THE KALISPEL WERE ALSO CALLED THE PEND OREILLE BY THE TRADERS. THE KALISPEL, ARE ONE OF MANY SALISH SPEAKING TRIBES. " THE ENTIRE NORTHWEST CONSISTS OF THE SALISH SPEAKING PEOPLE, WHO OUR ELDERS SAY CAME FROM ONE LARGE GROUP AT ONE TIME. THOSE DIFFERENT BANDS THAT ARE LOCATED IN OTHER AREAS ARE OTHER TRIBES NOW. WE REFER TO THEM AS THE KALISPEL, THE SPOKANES, THE COEUR D'ALENE, THE OKANOGANS, SUSHWA" DAVID THOMPSON JOURNALS: " I SPENT MUCH OF THE DAY TRADING WITH THE INDIANS WHO BROUGHT ABOUT 130 SKINS. SIXTEEN CANOES OF POINTED HEARTS PASSED US AND CAMPED WITH OTHER FLATHEADS". BUSINESS WAS BOOMING. AT TIMES, ENTIRE DAYS HAD TO BE SET ASIDE FOR TRADING. IN THE MIDST OF ALL THIS ACTIVITY, THOMPSON DECIDED TO 'GO ON DISCOVERY' AND TRACE THE PEND OREILLE'S COURSE TO THE COLUMBIA. HE RODE WEST, FOLLOWING THE PEND OREILLE RIVER TO A KALISPEL VILLAGE, NEAR CUSICK, WASHINGTON. " THE OLDEST MAN ACCORDING TO CUSTOM MADE A SPEECH AND A PRESENT OF 2 CAKES OF ROOT BREAD,. " THE ROOT BREAD WAS MADE FROM CAMAS OR EETOWOY. ON HIS LATER MAPS, THOMPSON LABELED THIS AREA EETOWOY PLAINS. TRYING TO FIND A SUITABLE TRADE ROUTE TO THE COLUMBIA PROVED DIFFICULT. THOMPSON BORROWED A KALISPEL CANOE AND HEADED DOWN RIVER,. ..ONLY TO BE STOPPED BY THE STEEP CLIFFS OF BOX CANYON. " AND THOMPSON INSTEAD OF PUSHING ON THROUGH AND GETTING TO THE COLUMBIA, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN A COUPLE DAYS WALK, TURNS AROUND AND GOES BACK. " THOMPSON LEFT A CREW TO WINTER AT KULLYSPELL HOUSE, THEN FOLLOWED THE CLARK FORK RIVER UPSTREAM TO THE OPEN COUNTRY WHERE MANY SALISH BANDS WINTERED. THERE HE BUILT SALEESH HOUSE, NEAR THOMPSON FALLS, MONTANA, AND SPENT THE WINTER. " AND IT'S REALLY A REMARKABLE WINTER, THAT'S WHEN HE DOES HIS SALISH WORD LIST" THOMPSON DEVOTED 26 PAGES OF HIS JOURNAL LISTING 1,000 ALPHABETIZED ENGLISH WORDS HE WANTED TO LEARN IN SALISH. "THEY TELL A LOT MORE ABOUT THOMPSON THAN THEY TELL ABOUT THE SALISH INDIANS. JUST IN THE "A"S, ITS LIKE ABANDONMENT, AMBUSH, ANXIETY, ANXIOUS. IT'S A VERY FUNNY LIST THOMPSON WAS ABLE TO GATHER 400 SALISH EQUIVALENTS. IN MAY 1810, THOMPSON DISPATCHED JACO FINLEY TO BUILD A NEW POST AMONG THE SPOKANE PEOPLE. SPOKANE HOUSE WOULD COMPLETE A CIRCLE OF TRADE IN WHAT THOMPSON CALLED THE BETTER PART OF THE COUNTRY. LEAVING FINAN MCDONALD IN CHARGE OF SALEESH HOUSE, THOMPSON TOOK THE FURS TO LAKE SUPERIOR, EXPECTING TO REMAIN IN THE EAST FOR A YEAR. THOMPSON LETTER TO SIMON FRASER: DECEMBER 21, 1810 " MY DEAR FRASER. I AM GETTING TIRED OF SUCH CONSTANT HARD JOURNEYS; FOR THE LAST 20 MONTHS I HAVE SPENT ONLY BARELY TWO MONTHS UNDER THE SHELTER OF A HUT, ALL THE REST HAS BEEN IN MY TENT, AND THERE IS LITTLE LIKELIHOOD THE NEXT 12 MONTHS WILL BE MUCH OTHERWISE" "HE'S BEEN IN THE WOODS FOR A LONG TIME NOW AND HE'S HOPING TO TAKE A YEAR OFF, WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE ALLOWED AS A PARTNER AND GET UP WITH HIS FAMILY AND JUST RELAX. " BUT, THOMPSON DID NOT GET HIS SABBATICAL. THOMPSON LETTER TO FRASER: DEC. 21, 1810, "THE AMERICANS, IT SEEMS, WERE AS USUAL DETERMINED TO BE BEFOREHAND WITH US IN THE COLUMBIA IN SHIP NAVIGATION. THE AMERICAN WAS JOHN JACOB ASTOR, A NEW YORK ENTREPRENEUR. HE'D STARTED THE PACIFIC FUR COMPANY, AND WAS TRYING TO ENTER THE WESTERN FUR TRADE. HIS SHIP, THE TONQUIN, WAS SAILING AROUND THE HORN TO THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA, WHILE A SECOND OVERLAND PARTY WAS RETRACING LEWIS AND CLARK'S ROUTE TO THE WEST. "JOHN JACOB ASTOR IS LIKE DONALD TRUMP. HE'S GOT BUSINESS DEALS ALL OVER WITH EVERYBODY. INCLUDING THE NORTH WEST CO." A YEAR EARLIER, ASTOR HAD OFFERED THE NORTH WEST COMPANY, ONE THIRD INTEREST IN HIS PACIFIC VENTURE. " AND IT SOUNDS LIKE A PARTNERSHIP BUT IT'S SO, CONVOLUTED THAT YOU CAN TELL IT MIGHT NOT WORK" WITH THE AMERICANS INVOLVED, THOMPSON COULD WAIT NO LONGER TO COMPLETE HIS EXPLORATIONS DOWN THE COLUMBIA RIVER AND DETERMINE WHETHER IT WAS NAVIGABLE TO THE SEA. HE NEEDED TO GET BACK WEST. BUT THE PIEGAN HAD OTHER IDEAS. THEY HAD SET UP A BLOCKADE AT HOWES PASS. "THE PEIGAN THREATENED DURING THE BLOCKADE, THAT THEY'RE GOING TO KILL ANY WHITE MAN THEY FIND WEST OF THE MOUNTAIN, AND THEY'RE GOING TO MAKE DRIED MEAT OUT OF THEM. BELIEVE ME, THE HUDSON'S BAY CO, THE NW CO. TOOK THAT THREAT SERIOUSLY" ALEXANDER HENRY - ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE: " THIS AFFAIR OF HIS CANOES BEING STOPPED BY THE PIEGANS HAS INDUCED HIM TO ALTER HIS ROUTE AND ENDEAVOR TO OPEN A NEW ROAD. AND IN SUCH RUGGED COUNTRY THE BLACKFEET INDIANS WOULD NEVER DARE TO ENTER. ALEXANDER HENRY-ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE-1811" THOMPSON HAD BEEN SEEKING AN ALTERNATE ROUTE ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS FOR SOME TIME. HE'D HEARD PROMISING REPORTS OF A CROSSING AT THE HEADWATERS OF THE ATHABASCA RIVER. BUT A WINTER CROSSING OVER ATHABASCA PASS, WOULD BE DIFFICULT,. REQUIRING DOG SLEDS AND SNOWSHOES. "THE PROBLEM FOR HIM REALLY IS THAT BY GOING FROM THE SASKATCHEWAN TO THE ATHABASCA HE'S IN A NEW FUR TRADE DISTRICT AND THE VOYAGERS WHO HE TAKES WITH HIM AREN'T USED TO WORKING FOR HIM. SO ALL THE OLD FAMILIAR NAMES AND THE GUIDES HE'S GONE BACK AND FORTH WITH ALL THESE YEARS ARE NO LONGER WITH HIM. AND THESE NEW GUYS THINK THAT HE'S CRAZY, AND NONE OF THEM HAVE BEEN ACROSS THE PASS BEFORE, AND HE WORKS THEM TOO HARD, AND HE'S MAKING A WINTER CROSSING. SO THERE ARE ALL THESE REASONS FOR THINGS TO GO WRONG" THOMPSON JOURNALS: "DU NORD THREW HIS LOAD ASIDE , SAYING HE WOULD NOT HAUL IT ANY MORE ALTHOUGH HE HAS ONLY 80 POUNDS AND TWO GOOD DOGS, IN MY OPINION HE IS A POOR SPIRITLESS WRETCH. " "THESE GUYS ARE SCARED AND THERE'S A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF SNOW, AND THE TEMPERATURE WARMS UP FROM 30 BELOW TO 30 ABOVE IN ABOUT 36 HOURS. THE SLEDS START TO SINK, THEY CAN'T FIND ANY FOOD, THE VOYAGERS ARE BEATING THE DOGS TO DEATH." THOMPSON JOURNALS JANUARY 14, 1811 -: "THE COURAGE OF PART OF MY MEN IS SINKING FAST. THEY SEE NOTHING IN ITS PROPER COLOR, FEAR GATHERS ON THEM FROM EVERY OBJECT." CANADIAN OUTFITTER WENDY BUSH HAS BEEN DRIVING DOG TEAMS IN THE BACK COUNTRY MOST OF HER LIFE. "SLED DOGS," BUSH SAYS, "ARE A STRONG PART OF HER CANADIAN HERITAGE. " " EVERY FAMILY HAD A DOG AND THEY HOOKED THAT DOG UP AND PULLED THEIR TOBOGGANS WITH FIREWOOD OR WHATEVER CHORES THEY HAD TO DO SO IT WAS A VERY CANADIAN THING TO DO FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, TO USE YOUR SLED DOG" IN THOMPSON'S TIME, DOG DRIVERS DIDN'T RIDE, BUT RAN BESIDE THE DOGS, HELPING TO DIRECT THE TOBOGGAN OVER SNOW AND ICE. " SO HE MADE HIS OWN SNOW SHOES AND HIS TOBOGGAN. THAT'S PRETTY TOUGH GOING TO BUILD YOUR OWN GEAR" TO CELEBRATE THE CENTENNIAL OF CANADIAN NATIONAL PARKS, BUSH, USING HER OWN SLED DOGS, RETRACED THOMPSON'S HISTORIC 1811 CROSSING OF ATHABASCA PASS. "WE HAD BEEN TRAVELING IN THE BACK COUNTRY OF JASPER NATIONAL PARKS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS SO WE WERE IN GOOD SHAPE AND OUR DOGS WERE WELL TRAINED AND WE HAD LOTS OF MODERN EQUIPMENT. THOUGH REGARDLESS OF MODERN EQUIPMENT, THERE ARE HAZARDS OUT THERE AND YOU CAN STILL FALL IN THE WATER IF YOU MAKE A MISSTEP AND DRAG YOUR DOG TEAM WITH YOU" THOMPSON JOURNAL: "THE DESCENT WAS SO STEEP THAT THE DOGS COULD NOT GUIDE THE SLEDS, AND OFTEN CAME ACROSS THE TREES WITH SOME FORCE, THE DOGS ON ONE SIDE AND THE SLED ON THE OTHER" BY THIS TIME, FOUR OF HIS MEN HAD PLAINLY HAD ENOUGH OF THOMPSON, AND THE FEELING WAS MUTUAL. THOMPSON JOURNAL: "DU NORD WITH THE FORT DE PRAIRIE MEN, HAVING LONG BEEN DISPIRITED AND USELESS AS OLD WOMEN, TOLD ME HE WOULD RETURN, AND I WAS HEARTILY TIRED OF SUCH WORTHLESS FELLOWS" " EARLY HISTORIANS REPRESENTED THAT AS A MUTINY AND EVERYBODY LEAVING. BUT IN HIS JOURNAL, WHICH HE'S KEEPING AT THE TIME, HE SAYS, I'M GLAD TO BE RID OF THESE GUYS, I DON'T LIKE THE WAY THEY TREAT THE DOGS, THEY'RE EATING TOO MUCH, THEY'RE JUST A PAIN. GIVE ME THESE GUYS THAT ARE DEPENDABLE" THOMPSON JOURNAL: "ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS THE TREES WERE SMALL, THERE WE WERE MEN, BUT ON THE WEST SIDE WE WERE PIGMIES, IN SUCH FORESTS WHAT COULD WE DO WITH AXES OF TWO POUND WEIGHT? THOMPSON, AND HIS REMAINING THREE MEN, DUG IN FOR WINTER AT THE TOP BEND OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER; AT A PLACE THOMPSON NAMED BOAT ENCAMPMENT. FROM THIS VANTAGE POINT, THOMPSON COULD HAVE TRAVELED DOWNSTREAM TO THE PACIFIC. BUT, HE HAD A LARGE LOAD OF TRADE GOODS TO DISTRIBUTE TO HIS POSTS ON THE COLUMBIA PLATEAU. "SO HE SPENDS SIX WEEKS BUILDING A NEW KIND OF CANOE THAT IS SPLIT CEDAR PLANKS SEWN TO A REGULAR FRAME WITH SPRUCE ROOT WATAP, AND HE JUST DOES A BEAUTIFUL JOB OF IT. " AT HIS HOME OVERLOOKING LAKE PEND OREILLE, BOAT BUILDER BILL BRUSSTAR IS BUILDING A REPLICA OF DAVID THOMPSON'S CEDAR PLANK CANOE. ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS, THE NOR'WESTERS HAD STRUGGLED TO BUILD CANOES, BECAUSE THE BIRCH BARK WAS SO THIN. BUT THOMPSON DESIGNED SOMETHING NEW. " BUT HE STARTED OUT WITH A BOTTOM BOARD, THE KEEL BOARD, THAT WAS 17 INCHES WIDE. HE WANTED TO BUILD THE WHOLE BOAT IN ONE BOARD ALMOST, 17 INCHES WIDE IS REALLY WIDE AND HE BROKE IT IN HALF. FOR TWO DAYS AFTER THAT THERE IS NOTHING BUT NUMBERS, THAT'S ALL HE DID WAS TOOK NUMBERS AND HELD IT INSIDE. DAVID THOMPSON: " WE WORKED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CANOE, BUT SPIT IN TWO LIFTING IT UP BEING TOO THIN TO SUPPORT IT'S OWN WEIGHT AND WAS THUS SPOILT. " "HE ENDED UP WITH A BOARD SIX INCHES IN THE MIDDLE AND HE NARROWED IT DOWN TO THE BOW AND STERN TO TWO INCHES AND HE CURVED THAT BOW ALL THE WAY UP TO A TWO FOOT ARC. A TWO FOOT ARC FOR THE BOW AND A TWO FOOT ARC FOR THE STERN. SO, HE USED ONE SINGLE BOARD. HE HAD TO SPLIT THE ENDS OF THEM IN HALF, SO HE HAD A TWO INCH BOARD LIKE THAT AND HE CUT IT IN HALF, SO IT WOULD TAKE THAT BEND. " BRUSSTAR SEEMS TO BE LEARNING AS MUCH ABOUT THE MAN AS THE CANOE. "YOU GET A MUCH CLOSER IDEA OF WHAT ACTUALLY WAS GOING ON IN THOSE DAYS, 'CAUSE THE PROBLEMS I HAD, HE HAD THE SAME. " OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS, THOMPSON WOULD BUILD AT LEAST NINE CEDAR PLANK CANOES, CONTINUALLY IMPROVING ON HIS DESIGN. MEANWHILE, A THOUSAND MILES DOWNSTREAM, THE SAILING SHIP THE TONQUIN WAS ANCHORED AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA. ASTOR'S MEN HAD ALREADY STARTED BUILDING FORT ASTORIA. MARK WEADICK, AND HIS GROUP OF FUR TRADE RE-ENACTORS, PADDLE AROUND THE CONFLUENCE OF THE LITTLE SPOKANE AND SPOKANE RIVERS. BETWEEN THE TWO RIVERS, ON THIS FLAT, TRIANGLE SHAPED PENINSULA, SPOKANE HOUSE WAS BUILT BY JACO FINLEY IN 1810. BY THE TIME THOMPSON ARRIVED, THE POST HAD BEEN UP AND RUNNING FOR A YEAR. FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, THE SPOKANE HAD GATHERED HERE TO CATCH AND DRY FISH. "SPOKANE HOUSE WAS ON THE MIDDLE SPOKANE PEOPLES CAMPGROUND, IT WAS IN THERE AREA, AND IT WAS WITH THEIR PERMISSION THAT JACKO FINLAY AND HIS CREW IN 1810 WERE ABLE TO CONSTRUCT THE FIRST SPOKANE HOUSE. THERE WAS IN THOSE DAYS A TREMENDOUS CHINOOK SALMON FISHERY THAT CAME UP THE FALLS" THOMPSON CALCULATED THE LONGITUDE OF SPOKANE HOUSE AND RECORDED IT IN HIS JOURNAL. IT WOULD BE THE FIRST EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON. AFTER A TWO MONTH DETOUR, THOMPSON WAS FINALLY FREE TO EXPLORE THE MIDDLE AND LOWER COLUMBIA. HIS PARTY TRAVELED NORTH ON THE ILTHKOYAPE ROAD, TO KETTLE FALLS ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER, WHERE A LARGE NUMBER OF THE ILTHKOYAPE OR COLVILLE WERE FISHING. THOMPSON JOURNALS: "THE SALMON ARE FROM 15 TO 30 POUNDS WEIGHT HERE, THEIR FLESH IS RED AND THEY ARE EXTREMELY WELL MADE. " AFTER YEARS OF EFFORT, ON JULY 3RD, 1811 THOMPSON WITH HIS CREW AND TWO SANPOIL SET OFF FROM KETTLE FALLS ON THEIR VOYAGE DOWN THE COLUMBIA TO THE SEA. DAVID THOMPSON TRAVELS: "IMAGINATION CAN HARDLY FORM AN IDEA OF THE WORKING OF THIS IMMENSE BODY OF WATER UNDER SUCH COMPRESSION, RAGING AND HISSING, AS IF ALIVE. " "IGNUS, THE IROQUOIS, WHO HE HIRED TO BE THE STEERSMAN GOT BOUNCED RIGHT OUT OF THE CANOE. IT WAS THAT POWERFUL, AND NONE OF THESE GUYS CAN SWIM. SO THEY DO THIS CRAZY FRENETIC RESCUE AND GET IGNUS ON SHORE AND SQUEEZE ALL THE WATER OUT OF HIM" AT THE TIME, ABOUT THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILES OF THE COLUMBIA HAD BEEN CHARTED. BY THE END OF THE SUMMER, THOMPSON WILL HAVE SURVEYED THE REMAINING NINE HUNDRED MILES. DAVID THOMPSON: "THE COLUMBIA PRESENTED MUCH STEEP ROCK, OFTEN IN STEP LIKE STAIRS OF 20 TO 30 FEET PERPENDICULAR. " TRAVELING WITH THE CURRENT, IT TOOK THOMPSON JUST TEN DAYS TO GET TO THE PACIFIC. "IT'S ABOUT 700 RIVER MILES. HE STOPS AT EVERY VILLAGE ALONG THE WAY AND DOES HIS LITTLE RAP, I'M COMING TO TRADE YOU KNOW. YOU SHOULD TRAP BEAVER, I'LL BUILD A TRADE HOUSE HERE. HE SAYS THAT AT EVERY VILLAGE THAT HE COMES TO AND HE STILL MAKES IT IN 10 DAYS. " THOMPSON MET 150 FAMILIES OF SANPOIL,. NEAR THE SANPOIL RIVER. "THEY ALL, FORMED A LINE IN AN ELLIPSIS; THEY DANCED WITH THE SUN IN A MINGLED MANNER, ALL THEIR DANCES ARE A KIND OF RELIGIOUS PRAYER" HE MET METHOW, JUST BEYOND THE OKANAGAN RIVER, AND, 120 FAMILIES OF SINKAUSE, AT ROCK ISLAND NEAR WENATCHEE. "THE WOMEN ADVANCED ALL ORNAMENTED WITH FLLETS AND SMALL FEATHERS, THEY SMOKED WITH THE MEN" THOMPSON SMOKED WITH 62 SAHAPTIN SPEAKING MEN, THE WANAPUM, NEAR PRIEST RAPIDS. AND THERE WERE THE YAKIMA. THOMPSON JOURNAL: "THESE PEOPLE, ARE MAKING USE OF THE SEINE NET, WHICH IS WELL MADE FROM WILD HEMP, WHICH GROWS ON THE RICH LOW GROUNDS. " AT THE DALLES CULTURE PATTERNS CHANGED FROM PLATEAU TO COASTAL. THE THREE HUNDRED FAMILIES CAMPED THERE WERE SPEAKING BOTH SAHAPTIAN AND CHINOOKAN LANGUAGES. DAVID THOMPSON JOURNAL: "THE CHIEF CAME AND INVITED ME TO HIS HOUSE,. THE INSIDE CLEAN AND WELL ARRANGED HAD SEPARATE BED PLACES FASTENED TO THE WALLS THAT RAISED ABOUT 3 FEET ABOVE THE FLOOR" THOMPSON FELT STRONGLY THAT THE LANDS OF THE COLUMBIA THAT HE HAD SURVEYED BELONGED TO GREAT BRITAIN. WHAT THOMPSON CALLED A 'SATISFACTORY BOUNDARY' FOR CANADA, INCLUDED MUCH OF TODAY'S AMERICAN NORTHWEST. THOMPSON JOURNAL: "HERE I ERECTED A SMALL POLE WITH A HALF SHEET OF PAPER WELL TIED AROUND IT, ...KNOW HEREBY THAT THIS COUNTRY IS CLAIMED BY GREAT BRITAIN AS PART OF ITS TERRITORIES" ON JULY 15, 1811, THOMPSON'S PARTY ARRIVED AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER, AT FORT ASTORIA. ALEXANDER ROSS, A SCOT CLERK FOR THE PACIFIC FUR COMPANY "WE WERE RATHER SURPRISED AT THE UNEXPECTED ARRIVAL OF A NORTH WEST PROPRIETOR AT ASTORIA. MR. THOMPSON. HE CAME DASHING DOWN THE COLUMBIA IN A LIGHT CANOE MANNED WITH EIGHT IROQUOIS AND AN INTERPRETER. " THE ASTORIANS FOUND THEMSELVES IN AN ODD SITUATION. THOMPSON CLAIMED THEY WERE PARTNERS, BUT TO THEIR KNOWLEDGE, NO JOINT AGREEMENT HAD TAKEN PLACE. THEY DANCED AROUND EACH OTHER NOT KNOWING WHETHER THEY WERE FRIEND OR FOE. LATER, THE PARTNERSHIP DID INDEED FALL APART. BY THE END OF THE SUMMER, THOMPSON HAD SURVEYED THE ENTIRE COLUMBIA RIVER FROM ITS HEADWATERS TO ITS MOUTH. ONE OF HIS MOST MEMORABLE CONTRIBUTIONS. PADDLING HARD ON LAKE SUPERIOR, THE 2008 DAVID THOMPSON BRIGADE WILL SOON COMPLETE THE FINAL LEG OF THEIR JOURNEY TO FORT WILLIAM. THOMPSON TOO, RETURNED EAST, CROSSING THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS FOR HIS FINAL TIME, AND RETIRING FROM THE FUR TRADE IN 1812. FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS, THOMPSON WORKED ON HIS MAPS OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. IT WAS AN ENORMOUS UNDERTAKING, USING HIS SURVEYS AND DISCOVERIES FROM THE LAST 20 YEARS. "HE STARTS WORKING ON HIS GREAT MAPS. SORT OF MAGNUM OPUS TO SHOW IN ONE GRAND CANVAS WHAT HE'S BEEN DOING WITH ALL OF HIS LIFE. " ONE OF THOMPSON'S WALL SIZE MAPS WAS HUNG IN THE DINING ROOM AT FORT WILLIAM TO BE USED BY TRAVELERS HEADING WEST FOR THE NEXT FOUR DECADES. "HE LIVED DURING A TIME THAT REALLY SAW THE TRANSFORMATION OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. SO WHEN HE WAS BORN IN 1770, EUROPEAN PEOPLE KNEW VERY LITTLE ABOUT WHAT WAS SOUTH AND WEST OF HUDSON'S BAY. BY THE TIME HE DIED IN 1857, THE WEST WAS BEING PREPARED FOR EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT. SO, HE'S A FIGURE WHO EXPERIENCED ALL THAT, AND IN SOME SENSES WAS THE AGENT OF THAT. " HIS EXPLORATIONS OPENED WHAT WOULD BECOME THE PRIMARY TRADE ROUTE ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO THE PACIFIC. THIS INLAND NORTHWEST PASSAGE WAS THE LAST LINK OF A FUR TRADE HIGHWAY CONNECTING A CONTINENT FROM SEA TO SEA. HIS TIRELESS MAP WORK REALIZED THE DREAM THAT HE EXPRESSED IN A LETTER TO A FRIEND AFTER HIS FIRST WINTER AT THE SOURCE LAKES OF THE COLUMBIA. DAVID THOMPSON'S LETTER: I WISH TO HEAVEN YOU COULD BE TRANSPORTED BY SOME GENIIS TO SEE HOW THIS COUNTRY IS FORMED. ♪ ♪

Contents

History

LFWA was created on 1 September 1991, taking command of what was previously Prairie Militia Area, Pacific Militia Area, and the Regular Force Army units and formations in western Canada from the northern lakehead region of Ontario to the Pacific Ocean. At that point in time, the Militia Areas ceased to exist, and the seven subordinate Militia Districts were reorganised into four: British Columbia District, Alberta District, Saskatchewan District, and Manitoba-Lakehead District.[3]

Later that decade, the four reserve force districts were again reorganized into three Canadian Brigade Groups.

In 2014 LFWA was renamed 3rd Canadian Division. With this change of name, the formation was also granted the identifying patch and historical lineage to the division that fought in the two world wars.

Commanders

  • Major-General T.F. de Faye (1991-93)
  • Brigadier-General Beare, CD (2004–2005)
  • Brigadier-General Jorgensen, OMM, MSM, CD (2008 −2010)
  • Brigadier-General P.F. Wynnyk, OMM, CD (2010–2012)
  • Brigadier-General J.C.G. Juneau (2012–present)[4]

Units

Land Force Western Area had four Brigade Groups (one Regular Force and three Reserve Force), and an Area Support Group.

There were also five units are under direct command of LFWA that didn't operate under the four brigade groups and one area support group. They were:

1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group was a Regular Force brigade group based out of CFB Edmonton.

1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group CFB Edmonton
1 CMBG Headquarters & Signal Squadron CFB Edmonton
1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Artillery CFB Shilo
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) Armoured CFB Edmonton
1 Combat Engineer Regiment Combat engineers CFB Edmonton
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Mechanized infantry CFB Edmonton
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Mechanized infantry CFB Shilo
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Light infantry CFB Edmonton
1 Service Battalion Logistic Service and Support CFB Edmonton

1 Area Support Group

1 Area Support Group was headquartered out of CFB Edmonton. The Support Group was responsible for providing service and support to the units of Land Force Western Area.

1 Area Support Group CFB Edmonton
1 Field Ambulance CFB Edmonton
1 Military Police Regiment CFB Edmonton
CFB/ASU Edmonton
CFB/ASU Shilo
CFB Suffield
CFB/ASU Wainwright
ASU Calgary
ASU Chilliwack

38 Canadian Brigade Group

38 Canadian Brigade Group (38 CBG) was a Reserve Force brigade group based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. It's composed of units in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and eastwards into Ontario to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

38 Canadian Brigade Group Winnipeg
38 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters Winnipeg
The Saskatchewan Dragoons Armoured reconnaissance Moose Jaw
The Fort Garry Horse Armoured reconnaissance Winnipeg
10th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA Artillery Regina and Yorkton
26th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA Artillery Brandon and Portage la Prairie
116th Independent Field Battery, RCA Artillery Kenora
38 Combat Engineer Regiment Combat engineers Saskatoon, Winnipeg
38 Signals Regiment Communications Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay
The Royal Winnipeg Rifles Light infantry Winnipeg
The Lake Superior Scottish Regiment Light infantry Thunder Bay
The North Saskatchewan Regiment Light infantry Saskatoon and Prince Albert
The Royal Regina Rifles Light infantry Regina
The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada Light infantry Winnipeg
38 Service Battalion Service and support Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay

39 Canadian Brigade Group

39 Canadian Brigade Group (39 CBG) was a Primary Reserve brigade group based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. All of the units of the brigade are from the province of British Columbia.

39 Canadian Brigade Group Vancouver
39 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters Vancouver
The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own) Armoured reconnaissance Vancouver
The British Columbia Dragoons Armoured reconnaissance Kelowna and Vernon
5th (British Columbia) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA Artillery Victoria and Nanaimo
15th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA Artillery Vancouver and Aldergrove
39 Combat Engineer Regiment Combat engineers Vancouver, Chilliwack and Trail
39 Signal Regiment Communications Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo
The Rocky Mountain Rangers Light infantry Kamloops
The Royal Westminster Regiment Light infantry New Westminster and Aldergrove
The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Light infantry Vancouver
The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's) Light infantry Victoria, Nanaimo and Comox
39 Service Battalion Service and support Richmond and Victoria

41 Canadian Brigade Group

41 Canadian Brigade Group (41 CBG) was a Reserve Force brigade group based out of Calgary, Alberta. The units forming the brigade group are from the province of Alberta, as well as a company based out of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

41 Canadian Brigade Group Calgary
41 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters Calgary
The South Alberta Light Horse Armoured reconnaissance Edmonton and Medicine Hat
The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) Armoured reconnaissance Calgary
20th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA Artillery Edmonton and Red Deer
20th Independent Field Battery, RCA Artillery Lethbridge
41 Combat Engineer Regiment Combat engineers Calgary and Edmonton
41 Signal Regiment Communications Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer
The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4th Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry) Light infantry Edmonton and Yellowknife
The Calgary Highlanders Light infantry Calgary
41 Service Battalion Service and support Calgary and Edmonton

Museums

Name Town/City Regions Type Summary
Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum Edmonton Edmonton Metropolitan Military website, history of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment
5th (BC) Regiment Museum Victoria Capital Military website, history of coast artillery and associated units from 1861 to the present day
Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) Regimental Museum Victoria Capital Military
Regimental Museum of the BC Regiment Vancouver Metro Vancouver Military History and artifacts of The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own)
Royal Westminster Regiment Historical Society and Museum New Westminster Metro Vancouver Military
Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Regimental Museum and Archives Vancouver Metro Vancouver Military
12th Manitoba Dragoons Museum Brandon Westman Military website, history of the 26th Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery
Royal Winnipeg Rifles Regimental Museum Winnipeg Winnipeg Capital Military website, history of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles

Acronyms

LFWA was sometimes referred to irreverently as "Luftwaffe" due to its acronym.

References

  1. ^ "What is Land Force Western Area". Department of National Defence/Canadian Army/LFWA-JTFW HQ. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Restoring the Canadian Army's historical identity". Department of National Defence. Archived from the original on 14 July 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Domestic Military Organization 1900–1999". Canadian Soldiers.com. 22 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Commander LFWA – JTWA". Department of National Defence/Canadian Army/LFWA-JTFW HQ. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2011.

This page was last edited on 27 November 2018, at 16:07
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