Fort Edmonton was Robert
Rundle's first mission post and his task there
was to be
chaplain to the employees of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) as well as to the Aboriginal
people of the area. He also taught a wide variety of children,
instruction that included English and Cree language studies.
In practice, all HBC employees were Christian (either
Anglican or Catholic) and, as a Methodist, Rundle had few allies. Nevertheless,
his mission added tremendously to the life at the fort.
After Rundle's departure, Roman Catholic Fr. Jean Baptiste Thibeault,
(although not invited), happily filled the vacancy-so much so, in fact,
that by the time the next Methodist missionary, Thomas
Woolsey, arrived in 1855 there was little room for his ministry.
Consequently, when George McDougall
established a missionary post and church outside of the walls of Fort Edmonton,
it served as the headquarters of the Methodist mission
district for many years.
Ethnic Roots: Francophones Prominence in Edmonton
Historic Fort Edmonton one
can visit a replica of Robert Rundle's chapel and a restoration of the
church built by George McDougall 1873.