The Heritage Network

The Heritage Network

Fort Colvile Bicentennial


This page is intended to host conversations about topics regarding the bicentennial. For starters, it has a list of people who have been involved in that effort. Some links to websites are included but no email addresses will be shown without express permission from the participants.

In anticipation of the upcoming bicentennial of the establishment of Hudson’s Bay Fort Colvile in 1825, the Heritage Network has submitted a series of articles to the Silverado magazine.  This is a repository of those articles.

The first article about this history reviewed a great family history of Able One, a Sinixt elder.  It is called In the Stream

Friends of Spokane House has been a big help in framing up this commemoration.  Here is an article about them.


These are documents submitted with an application to the Vinson Foundation primarily to start raising funds to build a Columbia Boat.  They are not in a particular order and will probably be a bit more organized at a future date.
This is a primary document for the events in 2025
This is the official Vinson Application
This is the proof of 501 C3 status
This is a long document about HBC Fort Colvile compiled from articles in the Silverado 2022-2023
This is an important cover letter for the Vinson Application explaining the timeline
This is a partial list of supporters of this project
This spreadsheet covers the whole $215,000 budget to be shared among fundraising and grants
This shows the grants we plan to apply for and the timeline
This shows some of John Zinser’s work and his current projects as well as a quote for this one
This is an article by Tom Holloway, PHD on the Columbia Boat
This is an article I wrote about the Columbia Boat
This is a budget prepared by John Zinser specifically to build a Columbia Boat

This is a sample support letter.  Note that many early supporters will also be involved in presentations so inclusion of information about the possible contribution of in kind and related costs are important.

There are a lot of events happening this summer (2022).  This is the first article on some of them.

A new event (not in the original article) is the Brigade Encampment at Fort Nisqually Saturday & Sunday, August 13-14, 2022

Spokane Valley Museum Exhibit, The Way we Worked – thru Saturday August 20th.

In this section we hope to post and expand information on relatives of current residents who worked or lived at HBC Fort Colvile.

Here is a link to a good story about the Stanger/Stranger/Stensgar family  from the Tribal Times

This article about Spokan Tribal history from a lecture by Warren Seyler conveys many lessons that affect how the commemoration of the establishment of the fort should proceed:

A post about canoes is available.  It allows and welcomes comments as this topic evolves.  There are new videos available.  Follow the link above.

These Three essays are all by Joseph Barreca.

Preliminary Thoughts is about the groups of people who were involved in the establishment of the fort and why that is important today. 

The goals article breaks out 5 areas of organization that need to be staffed and coordinated to pull this off. 

After some interaction with people with stories and perspectives about the fort. It became apparent that everyone brings their own personality to the history and that has implications for how to shape the commemoration. 

The Themes for the Bicentennial are expanding.  Here is a list:

The Timeline for planning is extensive.  This is what it looks like:

Projectionsof costs needed to hold this event.

News email in May 2022

Music was a tradition with the Scottish and the Métis employees of the Hudson Bay Company.  

Alan Hageman had a suggestion to bring in some music specific to that era. Music has that curious paradox of being universal to all of us while often very unique to a specific culture. Métis fiddling fits that description.

An example is a Métis fiddler is Jamie Fox as in this YouTube video:

It doesn’t have to be Jamie Fox. She happens to be known as an accomplished Métis fiddler and she’s from Fort Belknap in NW Montana so not terribly far from Fort Colvile. There are also probably other sorts of visual arts specific to the era that can be discovered without a lot of research.

This is a list of people on the HBC Fort Colvile Bicentennial (#FortColvile200) mailing list.  Future mailings to this list will be blind carbon copies (BCC). If you would like to contact anyone on the list, I can forward your email address to them.  If you would just as soon open contact through the website, I can add your email to this list.


Jan Bodie: Advised that we map out the area of interest for the fort and for the commemoration.  The Park Service, Kettle Falls Historical Center and Avista need to be on board with planning activities.


Jackie Cook and Guy Mora: As historians for the Colville Confederated Tribes have agreed to meet and advise us on how we should prepare for this project and present ideas to the Tribal Council.


Mike Lithgow and Donna Malvik: as Information and Outreach Coordinator for the Kalispel Natural Resource Department and Marketing manager for the Kalispel Tribe want to follow the progress of the project.


Leslie Bytnar. Public & Governmental Affairs Program Manager for the Kalispels 


Sonya Scauflaire with PORTA (Pend Oreille River Tourism Alliance) has helped find contacts with the Kalispel Tribe.


Lori Barkley – anthropologist for the Autonomous Sinixt


Nancy Marguerite Anderson. is a historian who has published and is publishing a lot of information on the fur trade era, particularly as it relates to Métis history.  She has contributed a paper with ideas on activities we could do, connected me with several other people who have experience in similar events and with others with particular knowledge about boats and other Métis specialties.  She is a big asset for this project.


Sheila Anderson – Métis family historian: Sheila has been very helpful and lives in Chewelah on land settled by Métis ancestors of her husband.  I look forward to meeting her in person and catching up on the many things I don’t know about Métis history.


Steve Anderson – Author of a biography of Angus McDonald:  I am reading Steve’s Book and learning that there were several Angus McDonalds.  His subject is particularly interesting and includes stories from Catherine McDonald, Métis and Nes Perce daughter and wife of Angus.


Fern Perkins has experience with fur trade and Francophone gatherings and is providing contact information for knowledgeable people.


Eileen Delehanty Perkeas – historian and author of many articles about local indigenous peoples is helping with Arrow Lakes history and announcing release of her latest book, A River Captured,


Tom Holloway – Columbia Bateau historian – has contributed a great article on the Columbia Bateau boats and many more articles from HBC archives.


Shaun Deller – Spokane House reenactors – has helped with contacts for many interesting skills including

Shawn Brigman who builds sturgeon-nosed canoes.

Warren Seyler – Spokan Tribal Member who talks to visitors about Spokan History at Spokane House events.

Dana Anderson – flint knapper who I am hoping can work with Kettle Falls quartzite.

Patrick Farneman who organizes and the Between the Rivers Gathering teaching skills of our ancestors.


Arnie Marchand – Representative for the Colville Confederated Tribes


Stuart Gillespie – Associate of the Colville Confederated Tribes, former editor of Columbiana Magazine


Dorothy Javorka – Kettle Falls Historical Center


Linda Kiva – Autonomous Sinixt


Jack Nisbet – Jack Nisbet lives and works with his wife Claire in Spokane. He is the author of several collections of essays that explore the human and natural history of the Northwest.


Sue Richart – Historical Researcher –


Janet Thomas – Stevens County Historical Society –


Brekyn Worbes – US Park Service – Park Guide at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area


Joseph Barreca – President, The Heritage Network – Coordinator HBC Fort Colvile Bicentennial Commemoration 

This document contains a wonderful story about the birth and education of Able-One, a Sinixt woman contemporaneous with Hudson’s Bay Fort Colvile.  You will find descriptions and links on this post:

This document contains a wonderful story about the birth and education of Able-One, a Sinixt woman contemporaneous with Hudson’s Bay Fort Colvile.  You will find descriptions and links on this post:

The Fur Trade was the main business of the Hudson’s Bay Company.  It is both historical and controversial.  For links to this topic, go to

The McDonald Family was a huge part of the story of HBC Fort Colvile.  Archibald McDonald and Angus McDonald both managed the fort with distinctively different styles.  Archibald’s son Ranald brought the English language to Japan and did other remarkable things besides often living at the fort.  Angus’s wife Catherine was an incredibly strong woman in control of her own life as well as bearing 12 children by Angus.  His daughter Christine was another strong and confident woman with high-level connections to the most important historical figures of the time.  You can read about these people and comment on the McDonald Family page.

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