Canada

Gaelic

CA01
Treaty of St Germain 

CA02
Nova Scotia Gaels

CA03
The Hector

CA04
Glenalladale Settlers

CA05
Landing

CA06
Pioneer's First House

CA07
Keep the Faith

CA08
Birth of Confederation

CA09
Fuadach nan Gaidheal

CA10
The Settlers' Lament

CA11
John Norton: War of 1812

CA12
From Croft to Clearing

CA13
Scarborough Logging Bee

CA14
Bees, Frolics & Building Barns

CA15
The City of Guelph

CA16
Mary Irwin

CA17
Montreal

CA18
Maple Leaf Forever

 

CA19
First Scots in Western Canada

CA20
York Boat

CA21
Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk

   

CA22
Part of a larger Metis community

CA23
Battle of Seven Oaks

CA24
Chief Peguis

 

CA25
Settlement Churches

CA26
Sandford Fleming

CA27
Alexander Mackenzie

CA28
John Rae

CA29
Simon Fraser

CA30
Agnes Deans Cameron

 

CA31
Gung Haggis Fat Choy

CA32
James Douglas: Father of BC

CA33
Coal Baron Robert Dunsmuir

CA33A
Campbell of the Yukon

CA34
The Megantic Outlaw

CA35
Lt-Colonel John McCrae

   
 

CA36
The Wilson Family

 

Ten years ago a Canadian census identified over 15% of the population as claiming full or partial descent from Scots. The proportion may be even higher, and so the impact of Scotland on the nation of Canada is certainly considerable, and dates back to the earliest colonial ambitions in North America.

In 1621 King Jmes VI of Scotland granted Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, rights to "New Scotland" on Canada's Atlantic coast. Although these earliest colonisation efforts met with mixed success, they established the link between Scotland and Canada. The name Nova Scotia has of course survived to this day, and the region even boasts the first official regional tartan of Canada (right). All but one of the Canadian provinces now have an official tartan.

The vast unspoilt Canadian interior offered massive opportunities for enterprising colonists from the earliest days of their settlement. Furs were in high demand and - for those tough enough to seek them out - could be found in plentiful supply. An English company secured a charter from King Charles II which granted them a vast swathe of Canadian land and thus access to its valuable resources. This was the famous Hudson's Bay Company, still trading today. In order to maximise the potential of its lands it needed to settle tough, hardy men in Canada, and soon began recruiting large numbers of Scots - especially Orcadians. Life on the frontier was treacherous, with hard winters and intense rivalry amongst trappers and traders, but the rewards could be huge. The Company traders established forts and trading posts and many of their employees would settle there.

But the Company's declaration of ownership over much of the region caused resentment from the French (who had established the powerful province of New France from their base at Quebec), who were having similar disputes with the British elswehere in the North American interior. The French & Indian War of 1754–1763 resulted in British dominance: one of its most famous episodes was the fall of Quebec in 1759 after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham: amongst the French prisoners was one James Johnstone, an Edinburgh man who had been ADC to Prince Charles Edward Stuart and Lord George Murray during the 1745 Rebellion.

With the French threat to the Hudson's Bay Company vastly diminished, it found new rivals closer to home. The North West Company was founded in 1779, based in Montreal. Amongst the founders was Simon McTavish, whose family had fallen on hard times after his father had supported the Jacobites. He managed to secure a commission with Fraser's Highlanders - a regiment commanded by another survivor of the Jacobite Risings - and fought with the regiment during the French & Indian War. The regiment was disbanded at the end of the war and many of its men settled Canada. McTavish stayed in Canada and eventually helped form the North West Company along with other investors, including the Scot George McBeath. The Company so threatened their Hudson's Bay rivals that trading operations turned bloody.

Fur remained Canada' main export until political events changed the international situation: the war against Napoleon cut Britain off from its traditional timber trade in the Baltic, and so the home country now turned to Canada for those needs. Then war between Britain and the new United States broke out in 1812 - with the Americans eager to annex Canada - which cut trade with the former colonies and placed a great strain on the fur traders. In 1821 the two great rival companies merged under the name of the older partner, the Hudson's Bay Company.

Scots emigrated to Canada in considerable numbers, motivated both by the opportunities presented and by necessity: the search for political asylum (including Jacobites), the Clearances and the resultant search by farmers and crofters for work overseas, and (especially in the mid-nineteenth century) famine back at home. When they settled in Canada, many of these Scots successfully continued their cultural identity, and highland games and dress, Gaelic, and of course St Andrew's societies and Burns clubs can be found right across the country. Alongside this proud heritage, Scots-Canadians have made considerable contributions to the nation, with politicians, explorers, and pioneers all featuring on the long lists.

 Canada
O chionn deich bliadhna, chomharraich an cunntas-sluaigh ann an
Canada gun robh còrr agus 15% den àireamh-sluaigh a’ dleasadh làn no pàirt sinnsearachd bho na h-Albannaich. Dh’fhaodadh gu bheil a’ cho-chuid seo fiù ’s nas àirde na sin agus mar sin tha a’ bhuaidh aig Alba air nàisean Chanada gu math mòr, a’ dol air ais gu na ciad iomairtean colòiniach ann an Aimeireaga a Tuath.  

Ann an 1621 bhuilich Rìgh Seumas VI Alba còirean “Alba Nuadh” air costa a’ Chuain Shiair ann an Canada air an Ridire Uilleam MacAlasdair, Iarla Shruighle. Ged nach robh na h-òidhirpean sin air colòineadh ach cuibheasach soirbheachail, stèidhich iad an ceangal eadar Alba agus Canada. Tha an t-ainm Nova Scotia air maireachdainn gus an latha an-diugh agus tha an sgìre sin fiù ’s a’ bòstadh a’ chiad thartan roinneil oifigeil ann an Canada. Tha tartan oifigeil aig a h-uile roinn Canàidianach a-nis ach aon.

Bha fàsach mhòr neo-thruaillichte Chanada a’ tairgsinn chothroman nach bu bheag do na coloinidhich iomairteach bho fhìor thoiseach an tuineachaidh. Bha fèill mhòr air bèin bheathaichean agus dhaibhsan a bha cruaidh gu leòr airson an sireadh bha gu leòr dhiubh ann. Fhuair companaidh Sasannach cairt-lagha bhon Rìgh Teàrlach II a bhuilich caoib mhòr de fhearann Canàidianach orra agus mar sin cothrom air na goireasan saidhbhir a bh’ ann. B’ e seo Companaidh ainmeil Hudson's Bay a tha a’ malairt gus an latha an-diugh. Gus an fheum a b’ fheàrr a thoirt às na fearainn a bh’ aca, dh’fheumadh iad fir chruaidh làidir a thuineachadh ann an Canada, agus gu h-aithghearr thòisich iad a’ fastadh àireamhan mòra de dh’Albannaich gu h-àraid à Arcaibh. Bha a’ bheatha air na crìochan sin cunnartach le geamhraidhean cruaidh agus còmhstri dian am measg nan trapairean ’s an luchd-malairt, ach dh’fhaodadh na duaisean a bhith glè mhòr. Stèidhich luchd-malairt na Companaidh daingnich agus puist malairt agus thuinicheadh mòran de an cosnaichean an sin.

Ach dh’adhbhraich am foillseachadh a rinn an Companaidh a thaobh sealbh air a’ mhòr-chuid den sgìre aimhreit leis na Frangaich (a bha air roinn chumhachdach na Frainge Ùir a stèidheachadh bho am bunait ann an Quebec), aig an robh a leithid eile de chonnspaid leis na Breatannaich ann an àiteachan eile taobh a-staigh Aimeireaga a Tuath. Ach fhuair na Breatannaich làmh-an-uachdar às dèidh a’ Chogaidh Fhrangach is Ìnnseanach ann an 1754–1763: b’ e nuair a thuit Quebec ann an 1759 às dèidh Blàr Faichean Abrahàm (Plains of Abraham), aon de na tachartasan a b’ ainmeile dhaibh. Am measg nam prìosanach Fhrangach bha Seumas MacIain, fear à Dùn Èideann a bha air a bhith na ADC don Phrìonnsa Theàrlach Èideard Stiùbhart agus an Ridire Seòras Moireach aig àm Reabhlaid 1745.
   
Le bagairt nam Frangach air Companaidh Hudson's Bay air lùghdachadh gu mòr, lorgadh co-fharpaisich na b’ fhaisge air an taigh. Chuireadh Companaidh an Iar Thuath air bhonn ann an 1779, stèidhichte ann am Montreal. Am measg an luchd-stèidheachaidh, bha Sìm MacThàmhais, agus bha an teaghlach aige air tuiteam ann am bochdainn an dèidh do athair taic a chur ris na Seumasaich. Thàinig aige air coimisean fhaighinn le Gàidheil MhicShimidh rèiseamaid fo stiùir shoirbhiche eile à Ar-a-mach nan Seumasach agus a bha a’ sabaid leis an rèiseamaid anns a’ Chogadh Fhrangach is Ìnnseanach. Chaidh an rèiseamaid a chur mu sgaoil aig deireadh a’ chogaidh agus thuinich mòran de na fir ann an Canada. Dh’fhuirich MacThàmhais ann an Canada agus aig deireadh gnothaich chuidich e le Companaidh an Iar Thuath a stèidheachadh còmhla ri luchd-tasgaidh eile, a’ gabhail a-steach an t-Albannach Seòras MacBeatha. Bha an Companaidh a’ bagairt cho mòr air an co-fharpaisich ann an Hudson's Bay agus gun do thionndaidh na h-obraichean malairt gu math fuilteach.


Dh’fhan bian bheathaichean mar a’ phrìomh às-mhalairt ann an Canada gus an do dh’atharraich tachartasan poilitigeach an suidheachadh eadar-nàiseanta: gheàrr an cogadh an aghaidh Napoleon Breatainn air falbh bhon mhalairt fhiodha àbhaisteach sa Bhaltic, agus mar sin thionndaidh  an dùthaich dhachaigheil ri Canada airson cobhair. An uair sin, bhris cogadh a-mach eadar Breatainn agus na Stàitean Aonaichte ann an 1812 – leis na h-Aimeireaganaich dealasach a thaobh ceangal ri Canada – a gheàrr malairt leis na coloinidhean a bh’ ann agus a chuir cuideam mòr air luchd-malairt bèine. Ann an 1821, chothlamaich an dà chompanaidh fharpaiseach seo fo ainm a’ chom-pàirtiche bu shine, Companaidh Hudson's Bay.

Rinn Albannaich imrich a Chanada ann an àireamhan mòra, air an spreagadh leis an dà chuid cothroman agus èiginn: sireadh tèarmann poilitigeach (a’ gabhail a-steach Seumasaich), na Fuadaichean agus mar thoradh air an sin tuathanaich is croitearan a’ sireadh obrach thall-thairis agus (gu h-àraid ann am meadhan na naoidheamh linn deug) gort aig an taigh. Nuair a thuinich iad an Canada, chùm cuid mhòr de na h-Albannaich sin an dearbh-aithne chultarach gu soirbheachail,  na geamannan agus an èideadh Gàidhealach, a’ Ghàidhlig, agus tha comainn Naoimh Anndra agus clubaichean  Burns rim faighinn air feadh na dùthcha.  Taobh ri taobh an dualchais phròiseil seo, tha Albannaich-Canàidianaich air mòran a chur ris an nàisean le luchd-poilitigs, luchd-rannsachaidh agus tùsairean uile a’ nochdadh air na liostaichean fada.