Canadian Shield: The Rocks That Made Canada

Fitzhenry and Whiteside (2010)

Canadian Shield traces the geologic evolution of the Shield, its first tentative exploration by humans starting 11,000 years ago as the last great ice sheets withdrew, its changing economic fortunes as Europeans penetrated its remote rocky vastnesses for furs and metals, and its transformation in the twentieth century into a national icon to Canadians. 

Regarded as 'barren' and of no value, much of the Shield was given away in 1670 to a single London-based fur trading company, the Hudson Bay Company, who jealously guarded its northern domain until 1867. This two hundred year long monopoly created a virtual government over a huge piece of North America. Without the HBC, much of it would have passed into American hands and there would have been no 'Canadian' Shield or country called Canada. As a nation, we are indebted to hard rock. 

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