Orkneymen to Rupert's Landers: Orkney Workers in the Saskatchewan District 1795-1830

  • Author / Creator
    Purdey, Cheryl Ann
  • The majority of workers in the Hudson’s Bay Company, up until the mid-19th century, originated in the Orkney Islands, off the north coast of Scotland. Historians have characterized these workers as an homogenous group—thrifty, sober, suited to work in cold weather and in the boats. Most worked for the Company for several years, saved their money and returned to their home islands. My research into the lives and work of the Orkneymen of the Saskatchewan district, however, has revealed that a significant portion of these men remained in the North West. They adapted well to the environment of Rupert’s Land, acquired useful skills including learning aboriginal languages, and, above all, many married native women and raised families, ultimately putting down roots in western Canada. My thesis focuses on this subset of men and the contribution they made to life in the early Canadian West.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Ken Munro, History
    • Pat McCormack, Native Studies