Small Thompson, Charlotte National Historic Person

Jasper National Park of Canada, Alberta
Statue of Charlotte Small and David Thompson (© Parks Canada / Parcs Canada)
Statue of Charlotte Small and David Thompson
(© Parks Canada / Parcs Canada)
Address : Jasper National Park of Canada, Alberta

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 2008-04-11
Life Date: 1785 to 1857

Other Name(s):
  • Small Thompson, Charlotte  (Designation Name)
Research Report Number: 2007-013

Importance: Representative of the many Aboriginal women who formed significant partnerships with fur traders during the 18th and 19th centuries

Plaque(s)


Existing plaque:  Near the site of the 1799 Northwest Company Fort at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of C, Jasper National Park of Canada, Alberta

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.