Gold Rush!

Canada Theme Daily

Reading Comprehension for August 21

The Yukon Territory is the smallest of Canada's three federal territories, and it does have one of the lowest populations. The land is full of snow-capped mountains, sparkling rivers, and lakes reflecting the broad, blue sky. It is also a land with gold, and that metal shaped much of the land's recent history.

Many people were aware of the gold in the Yukon's rivers, but it was too little to bother with. It would not pay anyone to get it out. Hudson's Bay Company explorers were more concerned with establishing trade routes for furs. Those trade routes usually followed rivers.

In the 1870s, Alaskan traders began to explore the Yukon area. They were also interested in the possibilities of gold mining. Worthwhile amounts of gold were found in the Stewart River in 1885.

In 1886, the U.S. Army began to explore the area, naming several of the land features. This news was enough to finally awaken the Canadian government to the possibility that Canada might lose this land. Canada sent its own surveying expedition to explore the area.

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