This was a country built by explorers and risk-takers and we have flourished despite the harsh winters and difficult crossing of vast oceans and lakes that frame it.
I’m proud to say I can trace my roots to the first settlers. On my mother’s side, my ancestor Marie-Rose Colin left France in 1670 to cross the perilous sea. Frightened, but I’m sure brave, she was part of the Filles du Roi, women under the king’s protection who were sent to marry officers to populate this new, wild country.
On my father’s side, the early 1800s brought three entrepreneurial brothers from Scotland to land in Quebec. What a wonder the New World wilderness would have been for them all; quite a contrast to the crowded, smelly towns they would have left behind.
Some of my first memories were of the forest. My childhood was full of summers spent camping and fishing in our parks, while winters were spent snowmobiling, ice fishing and hunting. I am at ease in the woods and often seek its solitude.
An old diary reveals a firsthand account of one young family’s experience emigrating from England to homestead in Canada in the 1800s.