The Government of Canada commemorates the National Historic Significance of Thanadelthur
August 11, 2017 Churchill, Manitoba Parks Canada Agency
National parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous Peoples. To mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government of Canada invites Canadians to experience nature and learn more about our history.
Today, Dr. Richard Wishart, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) representative for Manitoba, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, commemorated the national historic significance of Thanadelthur by unveiling a HSMBC plaque in Churchill, Manitoba.
The Government of Canada is committed to connecting Canadians to the significant people, places, and events that contributed to our country’s diverse heritage. Thanadelthur (d. 1717), a young Dene woman, was a skilled interpreter and negotiator who contributed greatly to the expansion of the English fur trade in the Northwest. Her expedition northwest of York Factory led to the establishment of a trading post at Churchill River in 1717, resulting in commercial relations between the Dene and Hudson’s Bay Company that lasted over two centuries.
Thanadelthur’s diplomatic skills and the success of the expedition were instrumental in reaching a peace accord between the Dene and the Cree who were traditional enemies. Her story of courage is recorded in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s journals and honoured in Dene oral tradition.
Parks Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that celebrates the contributions of Indigenous Peoples, their history, and cultures, as well as the special relationship Indigenous Peoples have with the land. 2017 marks both the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the centennial of national historic sites; however, the history of this land and the contributions of its people present a rich tapestry and date back far beyond 150 years. The Government of Canada recognizes that Indigenous Peoples have inhabited these lands since time immemorial.
The Government of Canada is committed to nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationships with Indigenous Peoples, based on a recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is one of the main themes of Canada 150.
“I am proud of the commemoration of Thanadelthur, an inspiring woman who occupied a central role in the consolidation and expansion of the northern fur trade. Her story highlights the significant contributions of Indigenous women in our country’s history, and her accomplishments, as a result of her peace-making attitude, are an inspiration for all of us. I invite all Canadians to discover and be inspired by the stories of the people, places, and events that shaped the land of Canada.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
- Thanadelthur was a member of the Ethn-eldeli-dene, or “caribou eaters”, a group now referred to as the “rising sun people”, or Sayisi Dene of northern Manitoba. The community lived between the boreal forest and tundra regions and survived by hunting barren-ground caribou.
- Thanadelthur died during a severe winter at York Factory (known today as York Factory National Historic Site) in 1717, just three years after she sought refuge there while escaping the Cree.
- To celebrate Canada 150, the Government is pleased to offer free admission for all visitors to national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada in 2017.
- Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the national historic significance of places, people, and events that have marked Canada’s history.
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Parks Canada, Manitoba Field Unit
145 McDermot Avenue,
Winnipeg, MB R3B 0R9
Parks Canada Agency