A Narrative History of Fort Dunvegan


186 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-920486-70-3
DDC 971.23'1





Reviewed by Barry M. Gough

Barry M. Gough is a history professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and
author of The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade, and
Discoveries to 1812.


If one wished for a model history of a Canadian fur post, one could do
no better than consult this thoroughly researched, attractive, and
well-written study. Prepared for the Fort Dunvegan Historical Society
and Alberta Community Development, the book is the work of complementary
talents and interests: Francis is well known for his larger surveys;
Payne heads research and publications for history and archives in
Alberta Community Development and is an expert on everyday life in the
Hudson’s Bay service.

Dunvegan, on the Peace, was founded by the North West Company, and was
on the throughway of traders and travelers. The rich mammal habitat of
the area made Fort Dunvegan the larder of the Athabasca trade zone. The
local Natives, known to the traders as the Beaver but to themselves, the
Dunne-za (“real people”), had been engaged in numerous, complex
armed encounters with other Native groups before peace came to the area
in the early 19th century. Oblate missionaries, travelers, and other
visitors make their appearance in this history, and it is interesting to
think that the Beaver demanded a treaty of Canadian Dominion
authorities, rather than the other way round.

The book is richly illustrated. If the maps fail to match the quality
of the text, most readers will find the 20 or so plates and the numerous
tables, as well as the bibliography and index, to be important


Francis, Daniel., “A Narrative History of Fort Dunvegan,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/13617.