Located in the Vermilion River Valley and the Daer Creek Valley. Mitchell Range, Kootenay Park, Major headwater Kootenay River.
Photo: Looking northeast to Mount Selkirk from Highway #93(S) in the Kootenay River Valley
Thomas Douglas (1771-1820) was a Scottish nobleman who made three attempts to establish colonies of poor Scottish farmers in Canada. The last, the Red River Colony, eventually led to the province of Manitoba.
As the youngest of seven sons, it was not expected that he would inherit the wealth and title of his father. But all his brothers died tragically, and he became the 5th Earl of Selkirk in 1799. Concerned with the plight of Scottish farm workers who were displaced when landowners the owner decided to use the fields for raising sheep, Douglas decided to establish these displaced farmers on colonies in Canada.
After successfully establishing a colony in Prince Edward Island but suffering a failed attempt in Ontario he persuaded the Hudson Bay Company to grant him a large parcel of land in what is now Manitoba. In 1812 his colony was established on the Red River. The North West Company and the local Metis saw the settlers as a threat to their fur trading interests and twice drove the colonists away, only to have them return.
In 1816 Selkirk himself came to Canada with a force of retired soldiers. He captured Fort William from the North West Company and then moved on to Red River the following summer to organize the colony. Eventually, the Red River Colony was turned over to the Hudson Bay Company by Selkirk's heirs and in 1870 it was sold to the Canadian government. Today the centre of Selkirk's colony forms part of Winnipeg.