Charlotte Small Thompson National Historic Person (1785-1857)

Charlotte Small Thompson was designated a national historic person in 2008.

Historical importance: Representative of the many Indigenous women who formed significant partnerships with fur traders during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Commemorative plaque: Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of Canada, Rocky Mountain House, AlbertaFootnote 1

Charlotte Small Thompson

Capably assisting her husband, renowned explorer David Thompson, Charlotte Small travelled thousands of kilometres across North America by foot, canoe, and horseback, helping to map its extensive lands and waterways. Daughter of a Scottish North West Company trader and a Cree mother, she married young, had thirteen children, and retired to Montréal, far from her roots, all while maintaining a remarkable 57-year marriage. Small exemplifies the many Aboriginal women who shared their lives with fur traders, bringing their knowledge of language, culture, and survival skills to 18th- and 19th-century trade and exploration.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
English plaque inscription
Full-length statue of a man and a woman
Statue of Charlotte Small et David Thompson, Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, Alberta, date unknown
© Parks Canada

 

Bronze commemorative plaque on its stand in the grass
Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada commemorative plaque for Charlotte Small Thompson National Historic Person (1785-1857), located at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, Alberta, 2022
© Jackson Bitz/Parks Canada
Bronze commemorative plaque on its stand in the grass
Commemorative plaque for Charlotte Small Thompson National Historic Person (1785-1857), 2022
© Jackson Bitz/Parks Canada

 

Statue of a portrait of a woman
Statue of Charlotte Small Thompson, Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, Alberta, 2020
© Kahli April/Parks Canada
Statue of a portrait of a woman
Statue of Charlotte Small Thompson, 2020
© Kahli April/Parks Canada

 

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

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