Gall was born in Aberdeen, Scotland on December 1st, 1903. There
was a shortage of work after the First World War and therefore,
he signed on with the Hudson’s Bay Company. Scotty ended
up in Fort Smith in May of 1923 helping to put an engine in the
HBC schooner Aklavik. He also helped take the schooner
down the Mackenzie River to Herschel Island, and then he crewed
on her during her engagement in distributing HBC freight in the
western Arctic. During his first winter at Herschel Island Scotty
Gall met Knud Rasmussen who had just visited Inuit in the Coronation
Gulf/Bathurst Inlet area.
In 1924 Scotty Gall went to Bernard Harbour by dogteam to deliver
the mail. This trip took most of the year. In 1925 he went back
west again to launch the Aklavik at Kittigaryuit, near
modern day Tuktoyaktuk.
Scotty Gall was given the command of the Emma Jane in
1926. He was charged with delivering coal and deerskins (caribou
skins) to the post at King William Land (Island). He first helped
to establish new posts at Ellice River and Perry River before
carrying on the HBC Post at King William Island. The King William
Island post was initially located at Simpson Strait (Malirualik),
before it was moved to Gjoa Haven in 1927.
Canalaska gas schooner Emma. Cambridge Bay, September
1929. [Sold to HBC]
Burwash/National Archives of Canada/PA 99650)
his two-month stay with HBC trader Paddy Gibson at Simpson Strait,
he was helping to move Nattilingmiut hunters to become productive
trappers. Gall stayed at Malirualik for about 2 months with Paddy
the way back from Simpson Strait Gall stopped in at Perry River
again and then went on to the Kent Peninsula post. He spent the
next year based out of Kent Peninsula and visiting and provisioning
the posts in the region – including the Perry River post
- with the schooner Fox.
the winter of 1927/1928 Scotty Gall was put in charge of Fort
Harmon at Rymer Point. This post was put in to compete with the
Rymer Point post run by Ikey
Bolt and Edna Klengenberg. He left the north after that winter
and left the HBC for two years.
returned to the HBC briefly in 1930 or 1931 after the Aklavik
was frozen in and sank at Bernard Harbour. He went in and got
the Aklavik back afloat and working. As a condition of
his contract he was then shipped out on the Baychimo. The ship
left too late however and was frozen in when trying to make it
through the Bering Strait. The crew was rescued and Gall spent
some time in Nome Alaska where he met his wife.
Gall was back in the Coronation Gulf region as the engineer of
the Aklavik and was her captain by 1937. He would spend
the open water season freighting to the HBC posts in the region
and spent the winter trading at several posts including Kugaryuak
(1935/36) and Gjoa Haven.
Scotty Gall at Cambridge Bay.
Territories Archives/N-1988-041: 0345)
1939 he became the post Factor at Cambridge Bay, a post he held
with a one year break (1943/44) until 1948. During his time working
at Cambridge Bay Scotty Gall was in contact with Stephen Angulalik
for the purpose of supplying the Perry River post. Scotty Gall
left the Arctic in 1948.
Gall was present for the period of initial expansion and establishment
of the HBC in the central Arctic, and he remembered the strategy
the HBC had for selection of post managers. As these posts were
established in territory where Inuit had had very little contact
with whites, they tended to their more mature, experienced people
from the older posts in the eastern Arctic.