Hudson’s Bay Company launches ‘Charter for Change’ to fund racial equity projects across Canada
Why It Matters
Hudson’s Bay Company was deeply involved in British colonialism across a third of what is now Canada for 200 years. The company’s monopoly was based on the racist ‘doctrine of discovery’ and helped to destroy traditional Indigenous ways of life.
Exactly 351 years ago this week, King Charles II of England fixed his seal to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Royal Charter, a document that allowed European traders to steal a third of what is now Canada from Indigenous peoples to reap the region’s rich bounty of furs.
The Royal Charter gave the Hudson’s Bay Company permission to subjugate 3.9 million square kilometres of Indigenous land in what is now Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut — a region known as “Rupert’s Land”, after Prince Rupert of England. On May 2, 2021, Hudson’s Bay Foundation launched a new charter that promises $30 million over the next 10 years to social impact organizations working on racial equity.
“With a history that in the past has included discrimination and inequity, we as custodians of the company today have a responsib
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