The 1992 BiCentennial
In 1792 the Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest Company each built a fur trading post on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River southeast of the present town of Elk Point, Alberta, Canada. Buckingham House and Fort George have been the subject of continual archeological study since the early 1960's and now, 1992 marks the 200th anniversary of these two posts as well as the opening of the 1.4 million dollar Interpretive Centre near the old fort sites.
A 200th birthday in a province that is not yet 100 years olk, in a country that is only 125 years olk, is a unique anniversary for Northeastern Alberta.
Much has changed since the fur trading days, but much has stayed the same. Our modern towns are still surrounded by lakes, rivers and forests very similar to those travelled by the men and women of the 1790's and before. A cainoe trip on the North Saskatchewan River or any of lakes north of it, offers the chance to see Pelicans, Cormorants, Loons, Blue Herons and other water fowl. The sight is as awesome today as it was 200 years ago.
Around the campsite it is still not unusual to see chipmunks, squirrels, ground squirrels, jays, chickadees, orioles, and warblers. Many lakes have beaver and muskrat, and on a quiet evening deer still slip out of the shadows for a cool drink.
Wild Berries grow in abundance and wild flowers bloom on the edges of the most modern towns. The Chipewayan, the Cree, the Assiniboin, the Gros Ventre, the Stoneys and the Blackfoot walked proudly on this land 200 years ago. The Metis nation was evolving during that time.
Peter and Mary Fidler, Angus Shaw, Alexander MacKenzie, Charlotte Small, David Thompson and many other sturdy frontier people travelled the streams and meadows in our backyards.
Visit us and help us honor our rich and varied past.