126. Hudson’s Bay Blanket

126 - hudson_s bay blanket

ca. 1970s

Historic Dunvegan Provincial Park

There are few objects that encompass Canadian history quite like the Hudson’s Bay Company point blanket. While the blankets came in a variety of colours, the most recognized is the multi-stripe, first introduced in the early 1800s. Blankets were an important trade item, and their use was wide-spread. Aboriginal groups often used them as clothing, draping them for warmth and fashion. The Métis fashioned them into coats called Capotes. They were also useful to early settlers, who used them during the War of 1812, when army greatcoats were in short supply, and for cleaning gold during the Yukon Gold Rush. As Canada grew they travelled the world warming expeditions to both poles and the top of Mount Everest, and marking Canadian Athletes at Olympic Games. Whether trekking through the wilderness or warming a dreaming child in bed, the HBC multi-stripe point blanket links countless Canadian stories together, past and present.