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Scotty 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 the Danish/Greenlandic anthropologist 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.



Scotty_Gall (Northwest_Territories_Arch

Scotty Gall (Northwest Territories Archives / N-1988-041: 0254)

Canalaska_gas_schooner Emma._Cambridge_

Canalaska gas schooner Emma. Cambridge Bay, September 1929. [Sold to HBC] (L.T. Burwash / Library and Archives Canada / PA 99650)

Listen to Scotty Gall talk about the gas schooner Emma
(Northwest Territories Archives/ N-1988-040-0001 and 0002) 

Read the transcript instead.

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During 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 Gibson.

Listen to another excerpt from an interview with Scotty Gall
 (Northwest Territories Archives/ N-1988-040-0001 and 0002) 

Read the transcript instead.

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On 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. 

During 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.

Gall returned to the HBC briefly in 1930 or 1931 after the Aklavik was frozen in and sank at Bernard Harbour. He recovered the Aklavik and returned it to operation. 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.

Scotty 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. (Northwes

In 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.

Scotty 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 Euro-Canadians, they tended to recruit more mature, experienced people from the older posts in the eastern Arctic.

Scotty Gall at Cambridge Bay. (Northwest Territories Archives / N-1988-041: 0345)

Scotty Gall speaking about the HBC
(Northwest Territories Archives/ N-1988-040-0001 and 0002) 

Read the transcript instead.

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