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        6-9

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        Uncharted Territory: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau

        Explorer, fur trader, and mapmaker David Thompson was a pivotal figure in the early exploration of Canada and the Northwestern United States and is considered by many as “the greatest North American land geographer of his time.” Thompson and his party were the first Europeans to travel the full length of the Columbia River.

        KSPS's Uncharted Territory explores Thompson’s relationships with Native peoples of Canada and North America and sheds light on his dynamic accomplishments as explorer, astronomer, surveyor, and mapmaker. The documentary focuses on the years 1800-1812—the time period that he explored the Kootenai area of Alberta, south through the Inland Northwest and down the Columbia River to the pacific. 

        Help students use primary and secondary sources to gain a deeper understanding of David Thompson’s explorations and contributions with these video segments and accompanying learning guide. Visit KSPS Education for additonal educator resources.

         

         

        David Thompson - Overview

        An overview of David Thompson’s legacy and accomplishments.

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        David Thompson - Early experiences in the fur trade

        Insight into Thompson’s early experiences in the fur trade.

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        David Thompson - Hudson Bay Company at age 14

        Thompson earns an opportunity to apprentice with the Hudson Bay Company at 14. An excellent student and fast learner, he becomes an integral part of the company’s fur trade.

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        David Thompson - Surveying with Northwest Company

        Thompson moves to the Northwest Company and embarks on his first major surveying assignment. He begins building relationships with native tribes.

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        David Thompson - Crossing the Rocky Mountains

        Thompson crosses the Rocky Mountains and establishes the Kootenai House.

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        David Thompson - Navigating the Columbia River

        Thompson navigates the Columbia River, using astronomy to map his explorations.

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        David Thompson - Exploration blocked by Piegan Tribe

        Thompson leaves Kootenai House and establishes new trading posts. He continues his exploration of the Columbia River as the Piegan tribe tries to block his passage.

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        David Thompson - Camp along the Columbia River

        Thompson navigates the entire length of the Columbia River, establishes a boat encampment, and continues to form strong partnerships with native tribes.

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