1970 Hugh P. MacMillan Canoe Brigade

Hugh P. MacMillan’s 1970 Nor’Wester Canoe Brigade: Retracing of a fur trade route from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg

This presentation, based on the lead article in the Spring edition of Nastawgan, will highlight some of the colourful characters who were part of the 1970 brigade, commemorating Manitoba’s centenary and the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Co., as they traced the fur trade route from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg dressed in voyageur garb and paddling five 26’ North canoes. Mark Stiles, the author and a participant on this remarkable journey, will elaborate on its historical significance and its frequent chaotic, yet in retrospect highly amusing, occurrences. Mark will leave ample time for questions. He encourages participation from anyone who was part of the 1970 brigade or who knew some of its eccentric figures, such as the renowned Hugh P. MacMillan and the notorious Shaman Chief Kitpou.

Bio note

Mark Stiles resides in Ottawa where he is mostly retired after 40 years of work in developing countries and with Indigenous organizations in Canada’s northern regions. Like many of us, he is a canoe head: a long-time member of the WCA, currently a member of the governance and nominating committee of the Canadian Canoe Museum, a former member of the Ontario’s canoe team in the 1971 B.C. Centennial celebrations, a privileged paddler on some of Canada’s most remote river systems, an active environmentalist and a good friend of the late Hugh P. MacMillan and Shaman Chief Kitpou.



Nastawgan 2022 Spring Issue



Hugh P. MacMillan is the author of Adventures of a Paper Sleuth, Prenumbra Press, 2004, an account of his colourful life's work tracking down priceless documents related to the history of the fur trade and the province of Ontario. The book contains a brief account of Hugh's 1970 Canoe Brigade in chapter 2.


Shaman Chief Kitpou

Chief Kitpou Facebook





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Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 19:00
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Topic: WCA - Hugh P. MacMillan 1970 Canoe Brigade Presentation
Time: May 26, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 811 4245 3857

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