|Great Rendezvous at Fort William|
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I believe a film should be made about the truth of Canada.
As a direct descendant of Hon. William McGillivary, Chief Director of the NorthWest Company, I wish to have a video produced publishing the real truth of how much the NWCo contributed to the building of Canada. It was a fur-trading company but in the War of 1812 it contributed 150 members of the Corps of Voyageurs & 6 schooners of its own company to protect the Canadian borders along the Great Lakes. The Chief Director was a Lt. Col and his twin son, Joseph McGillivray (my ancestor) fought as a Lt. He is buried somewhere on Mont Royal & should be put in the family tomb of Simon McTavish, where Duncan McGillivray (William's brother) & 2 infant McGillivray children are buried. For 20 years the Lachine (National Historic Site) operated importing & exporting the trade of goods to Fort William. Fort William is where my maternal ancestor is buried at Mountain view Cemetery at Thunder Bay. Fort William every year had an important meeting called the Great Rendezvous July 7 to 10th to renew trade relations. Montreal canoes had to portage 26 times to get there. From there smaller brigades of canoes where used to get the goods to the prairies. On June 19, 1816 the so-called Battle of Seven Oaks left 22 settlers of Lord Selkirk's men dead. McGillivray was charged for inciting this massacre but was never charged. Often NWC Metis & traders would feed & take care of HBC men who had been warned by Simon McGillivray in England not to come to the prairies but for 3 years despite hunger & promises of good housing & tools they came to try settling the Red River area. Selkirk had imposed a Pemican Tax to stop the flow of buffalo meat which was badly needed to feed everyone in the region. Thus it was called the Pemican War. It only lasted 15 minutes but this what was needed for Selkirk to have HBC promoted. They were also in dire straits with the Bank of England & easily could have been the ones who had gone under at the time of the amalgamation of 1821. This is part of the story I would like to get out. Canada paints my ancestor as greedy but in fact had a generous heart towards Canada. I therefore consider him the Father of Canada & Susan his Metis Wife as the the First Lady.