The crest of the Hudson’s Bay Company is affixed to the southeast corner of the Bay store on Edmonton’s Jasper Avenue. The crest recalls Peter C. Newman’s book, ‘Company of Adventurers,’ a history of the Hudson’s Bay Company in North America.
A decade ago, as a home education coordinator, I travelled within our school division boundaries helping parents provide their children with an education within their homes. The area of our school division encompasses an area equivalent to that of three small European countries. In one day, I might work with four to eight students and have driven as much as four to six-hundred kilometres. Windshield time was a part of the job. In one month, during my travels, I worked my way through an unabridged audiobook of ‘Company of Adventurers’. What was extraordinary was the fact that some of our northwestern Alberta territory featured within the book. What also was intriguing was that many of the stories about Life working for the Hudson’s Bay Company remained true.
In Meander River, for instance, an old Hudson’s Bay trading post was still in use. It had had its title transferred to a Church and a thrift store serving the Dene Tha’ people was being operated within the building. Part of Newman’s book highlighted the fact that the temperature in a Hudson’s Bay post was often kept close to zero as a means to encourage departure of customers after they’d made their purchases. This was the case in this building; heated by a wood stove the family tended to congregate close to the fire through the winter and were always dressed in layers of clothing. The family operating the thrift store chose home education as the means to educate their child.
Quote to Consider – “Unless you photograph what you love, you are not going to make good art.” – Sally Mann
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