History and Mandate

Victoria Settlement brings to life 3 major themes in Alberta's history: missionary activity, the fur trade, and settlement.

The lives of many different people are woven together in the stories of this place. When the McDougall family first came to the banks of the North Saskatchewan to establish the Victoria Mission in 1862, the site was home to seasonal camps built by the Cree. The Hudson's Bay Company trading post and an influx of Métis settlers arrived a few years later. The community changed its name to Pakan.

By the 1900s, there were over 100 inhabitants. However, the coming of the railway to Smoky Lake, a community north of Pakan, spelled the end of Pakan's prosperity. Today only scattered reminders of the past are left to tell the story of this settlement.

Victoria Settlement Provincial Historic Site has a mission to preserve and protect the many types of resources at the site:

  • historical
  • architectural
  • cultural
  • archaeological
  • ecological

Victoria Settlement Provincial Historic Site uses:

  • costumed interpretive staff
  • tours of the site
  • experiential activities
  • education programs
  • special events
  • social media

to facilitate high-quality opportunities for visitors and community members to experience, discover, and learn about the people and cultures who called Victoria/Pakan home.