The construction of Cumberland House in 1774 marked a change in HBC policy, which had hitherto expected native people to bring their furs to the bay posts to trade. It also marked the beginning of intense rivalry between the HBC and Montréal traders, later the NORTH WEST COMPANY, which lasted until 1821. Cumberland House became less important to the FUR TRADE in the mid-19th century when more direct trade routes to the interior were developed. The iron keel of the sternwheeler Northcote, burned by Gabriel Dumont's men at the siege of BATOCHE in 1885, lies on the south bank of the Saskatchewan River nearby.
The completion of an all-weather road in 1967 connected Cumberland House to southern Saskatchewan, but the community had to wait until 1996 for a bridge to be constructed across the Saskatchewan River. This predominately Métis community's economy is based on trapping, farming, fishing, sawmilling, hunting and guiding. Adjacent to the community is the reserve of the Cumberland House Cree Nation.
Links to Other Sites
Hudson's Bay Company Archives
A comprehensive information source about the history of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the fur trade in Canada. A Manitoba Government website.
Village of Cumberland House
The website for the Village of Cumberland House, the oldest permanent settlement in Saskatchewan. A useful resource for local history.
Main Street, Saskatchewan
Take a stroll down Main Street, Saskatchewan. This extensive compilation of photographs and other archival material highlights more than a century of Saskatchewan history. Search the Saskatchewan Archival Information Network or browse the Virtual Displays and the Town List. Produced by the Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists.
The Canadian Register of Historic Places
Canada is home to a vast array of fascinating historical sites. Many of them are illustrated and described in this searchable online database of Canadian historic places that are of local, provincial, territorial, and national significance.
A biography of David Thompson, fur trader, explorer, surveyor, justice of the peace, businessman, and author. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
History and Archaeology of Cumberland House
A detailed history and archaeology of Cumberland House accompanied by learning activities, a timeline, brief glossary, and an extensive bibliography. From “The Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture.”