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Where the River Takes Me: The Hudson's Bay Company Diary of Jenna Sinclair is the twenty-second book in the historical fiction series, Dear Canada. It is Julie Lawson's third book in the series. The book was published in September 2008 and was followed by Maxine Trottier's Blood Upon Our Land.


"To Patrick, who held the fort during my HBC sojourn and sustained me with an abundance of treats and laughter"

Book description[]

"Wednesday, July 17, 1849
As we drew closer to the Fort, the
canadiens lashed the canoes together and allowed them to drift downstream. The songs turned to whoops and cheers and the men fired muskets into the air. Up ahead I could see the HBCo flag rising to the top of the flagpole and we knew what was coming. "Plug your ears!" I cried, as the first cannon was fired. The welcoming roar echoed far and wide.
Father used to say that the arrival of the fur brigades marked the end of winter–reason enough for celebration. This time their arrival takes me one step closer to Fort Victoria and school–
Oh. And one step farther from home.



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Where the River Takes Me characters


Main article: Julie Lawson



  • Resource Links, Best of the Year (2008) - commended[3]
  • Bolen Books Children's Book Prize (2009) - short-listed[3]


"Thanks to Dr. Sylvia Van Kirk, author of Many Tender Ties, for her expert advice and guidance, particularly regarding the importance of First Nations women during the fur trade era. We are grateful to her book and her many articles, which form the basis of "Partners in the Fur Trade" in the Historical Note.
Thanks to Barbara Hehner for her careful checking of the manuscript; to Tyrone Tootoosis for his assistance with Cree sections; and to Sylvia Olsen for her advice re the Songhees sections. Thank s also to Michael Payne, City Archivist of Edmonton, and James Gorton of HBC Archives, as well as Dr. Bill Waiser and his colleagues (Dr. Carolyn Podruchny, Dr. Nichole St-Onge, Jim McKillip and Robert Englebert) for weighing in on what we thought would be a straightforward question: What route did the brigades usually travel?
"Three sources were particularly helpful during the writing of this book: the unpublished recollections of James Anderson, former student of Staines School, The Reminiscences of Doctor John Sebastian Helmcken, and Fort Victoria Letters, 1846-1851, written by James Douglas and published by the Hudson's Bay Records Society.
Nancy J. Turner, Professor, and Dr. Brenda Beckwith, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, were invaluable sources of information concerning camas, as was Cheryl Bryce, Lands Manager of the Songhees First Nation.
I am grateful to Dr. Sylvia Van Kirk for her generosity in lending me books, recommending reading material and providing me with copies of her articles. Through her writings, I came to appreciate the significant role played by First Nations women in the fur trade society, and how they very existence of that society may have been a reason why the history of Western Canada was so different from that of the "Wild West" of the United States.
Once again I had the good fortune to work with my gifted editor, Sandy Bogart Johnston. Her unwavering support, patience and humour made her a "Chief Factor" par excellence through the writing of this book.


  • The portrait on the cover is a detail from William-Adolphe Bouguereau's 1884 painting The Knitter. The background is a detail of the lithograph View of Victoria, Vancouver Island by T. Picken based on a drawing by H. O. Tiedemann.[4][5][6]


See also[]

Dear Canada

Orphan at My Door | A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | With Nothing But Our Courage | Footsteps in the Snow
A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Whispers of War | Alone in an Untamed Land | Brothers Far from Home | An Ocean Apart
A Trail of Broken Dreams | Banished from Our Home | Winter of Peril | Turned Away | The Death of My Country
No Safe Harbour | A Rebel's Daughter | A Season for Miracles | If I Die Before I Wake | Not a Nickel to Spare
Prisoners in the Promised Land | Days of Toil and Tears | Where the River Takes Me | Blood Upon Our Land
A Desperate Road to Freedom | A Christmas to Remember | Exiles from the War | To Stand On My Own
Hoping for Home | That Fatal Night | Torn Apart | A Sea of Sorrows | Pieces of the Past | A Country of Our Own
All Fall Down | Flame and Ashes | A Time for Giving | These Are My Words

External links[]