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Thomas Woolsey SketchThomas Woolsey spent his final years in Western Canada at the well established Victoria Mission-by 1864 it had a school, crops, gardens and a Hudson's Bay Company post. The mission had encouraged settlement and George McDougall actively promoted Victoria as a community to Aboriginal people and white settlers. By 1878 the settlement had a population of around 150.

There were difficulties throughout the settlement's development, however. The winter of 1868-69 was difficult-a lack of snow made tracking animals Graves- Victoriadifficult and to ensure their survival George McDougall and his family moved to the plains. Another problem came with the murder of Maskepetoon, a friendly Christian Cree chief. Additionally, in 1870 Victoria suffered through a smallpox epidemic that claimed the lives of over 50 people, among which were three  McDougall children

 

Heritage Trails - Presented by CKUA Small Pox Epidemics, Part 1: Early Explorers and Fur Traders Bring Disease to  New World, 1520-1726
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Small Pox Epidemics, Part 2: First Recorded Epidemic in West, 1736
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Small Pox Epidemics, Part 3: Epidemic of 1781-82 Wipes Out Native Villages Across the West 
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Small Pox Epidemics, Part 4: David Thompson's Journals and the Tales of Sokumapi
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Small Pox Epidemics, Part 5
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Youmans & Wife

When George McDougall left Victoria he was replaced by Peter Campbell. For a time the church and Sunday School remained full. With the decline of the buffalo, however, an exodus of families to the southern plains began and by the time Campbell left in 1874, it took six months before a replacement for the dwindling mission could be found. 

KolokeekaLocal Cree chiefs Pakan (also known as James Seenum) and Big Bear were among those who, after much negotiations, signed Treaty 6 in 187Northwest Rebeillion6. Big Bear's tribe fought with Riel in the rebellion of 1885, while Pakan counselled his people to stay out of the conflict. With the arrival of the post office in Victoria, the settlement was renamed Pakan to honour the Cree chief.

 


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