Two hundred years ago, in 1811, fur trader, explorer, surveyor, and mapmaker David Thompson reached the Pacific Ocean adding the Columbia River as the final leg of the fur trade highway between Montreal and the Pacific. His route would be used for fifty years as the major route across the Rocky Mountains by the twice annual Columbia Express, later adapted by the Hudson’s Bay Company to become the York Factory Express.

The fur trade was a unique era that depended upon collaboration between native peoples and Europeans exchanging furs and other bounties of the land and rivers for trade items manufactured far away. Fur trade exploration shaped the boundaries of Canada and the United States.

In 2011 salute the Columbia River Basin and its history by paddling voyageur canoes 1800 kilometres (1200 miles) along David Thompson’s historic route from present day Invermere, British Columbia, to Astoria, Oregon.

June 3 to July 16, 2011

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200 Years,

Many Nations, One River Basin

photo- Darrel and Deb Tetz

Here is your invitation to the 2011 David Thompson Columbia River Brigade

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