Fort St.

James, British Columbia
As part of his commission from the NWC, Simon Fraser and his assistants John Stuart and James McDougall explored potential river routes to the Pacific Ocean from 1805 through 1808. In the winter of 1805-06 James McDougall travelled from fort McLeod to Carrier’s Lake, now known as Stuart Lake, at the head of the Stuart River, in the heart of territory inhabited by the Carrier or Dakelh first Nation, this proved to be a lucrative locale for fur trading and so a post - Fort St. James - was built on its shore in 1806. In 1821, the fort came under the control of the HBC, when the NWC merged with it. It subsequently became the administrative headquarters of the Company’s New Caledonia District.

Edited and Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research Louis Riel Institute