Hard Travel: Alex MacKenzie from Canada by land 22d July 1793

Friday, 26 February 2021 online via Zoom

Speaker: Dr. Richard Van Loon

Lecture title: Hard Travel: Alex MacKenzie from Canada by land 22d July 1793

Lecture Summary

In this talk we will move much farther west and forward in time by nearly 100 years to travel with Alexander MacKenzie as he becomes the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean by land across North America, in 1793. MacKenzie’s epic travels depended on predecessor traders and explorers of the NorthWest Company and even more on the First Nations which inhabited, knew and understood all of the territory over which the Europeans travelled and traded as they moved west. We will meet both some earlier traders and the First Nation across whose land they travelled.

Bio: Richard Van Loon

Richard Van Loon is past president of Carleton University and past chair of the Council of Ontario Universities. He holds a BSc in chemistry and an MA in political science from Carleton and a PhD in political studies from Queen’s University.

He joined Carleton in 1970 as assistant professor of political science and has held faculty positions in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton where he is now professor emeritus and in the Faculty of Administration at the University of Ottawa. He was associate deputy minister of Health Canada and of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and held several assistant deputy minister positions in the Canadian federal government. He was the first Carleton alumnus to become president of the university.

Dr. Van Loon’s current research interests include federal-provincial relations, particularly related to post-secondary education, quality assurance and institutional structure in post-secondary education as well as the history of the Ottawa River and of First Nation/fur trader relations.