The North West company (1760-1821) (also called the XY company) headed in Montreal, Quebec by Scottish Directors used French Canadians for canoeman, commonly called engagés and voyageurs. The French 'courer' from Quebec would initiate the Canadian migrations between the east of Canada and the area now known as Saskatchewan (before 1870 it is known as Rupert's Land). The British ran the Hudson Bay Company from its head office in England, and the various indigenous tribes brought furs to the Hudson Bay Trading Post till 1774 when Cumberland House was built. The Hudson Bay then hired Orkney Island men and British orphans as 'pedlars'. By the year of 1800, 75% of Hudson Bay Company men were Orkneymen. In 1821, the administration districts of the Northwest Company and the Hudson Bay Company are merged into the Hudson Bay Company. Many retirees of the Hudson Bay Company settled with a Canadian family in the Red River Settlement.
Thomas Douglas, 5th earl of Selkirk whose philanthropist beliefs encouraged Scottish and Northern Irish settlers to the The Red River Colony in 1812. The Red River Colony was on the St. Lawrence- Great Lakes- Saskatchewan River Route and was a major fur trading center for the North West company (1760-1821).
To Saskatchewan came higlanders, lowland Scots, and clansmen from the Outer Islands. There was a Scottish crofter colony set up at Benbecula south of Wapella in the Qu'Appelle valley in the early 1800's who were successful at mixed farming. According to the historic Waghorn's Railway Guides and maps, Benbecula was located at section 3, Township 14, Range 1 W of the 2 meridian, and Wapella at 9, 15, 33 W1.This area is a part of Weyburn Region Gen Web.
Early Scottish Pioneers in Saskatchewan: Killarney, Manitoba Settlers and Saltcoats, NWT (Saskatchewan) Settlers 1889 A Hebridean colony was established north of Saltcoats in the late 1800's. This Gaelic speaking colony in the Yorkton Gen Web Region lost many of its young men in WW1.
Netherhill and Brightholm were also Saskatchewan towns of Scottish settlement.
Source | Bibliography| Ethnic origins and History |
Resources | Sask Gen Web