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William Wallace Cory

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Title: William Wallace Cory  
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Subject: Commissioners of the Northwest Territories, William Cory, Hugh Andrew Young, Charles Camsell, Ann Meekitjuk Hanson
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William Wallace Cory

William Wallace Cory
Born (1865-06-16)June 16, 1865
Strathroy, Ontario, Canada
Died September 21, 1943(1943-09-21) (aged 78)
St. Lambert, Quebec, Canada
Known for Deputy minister of the Department of the Interior
2nd Commissioner of the Northwest Territories
Religion Church of England
Spouse(s) Laura Watson, m. 1888
Children T. L. Cory
W.M. Cory
Mrs. A.B. Rosevear
Parent(s) Thomas Cory
Margaret Joanna Garret

William Wallace Cory (June 16, 1865 – September 21, 1943) was Commissioner of the Northwest Territories from June 27, 1919 to February 17, 1931.

Cory was born in Ontario and moved with his farming family to Gladstone, Manitoba in 1871.[1] He studied law and joined the Manitoba Attorney General's Office in 1889, then joined the federal department of Interior in 1901 rising to the post of Deputy Minister of the Interior from 1905 to 1930.[1]

Only the second Commissioner of the Northwest Territories to take the post, Cory inherited a region that had barely been governed during the time of his predecessor.[2]

Within months the new Commissioner had enacted a new ordinance (or law) regarding entry into the Northwest Territories, restricting access only to those pre-approved by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at various outposts in Alberta or the Yukon. The ordinance was cancelled a year later having been deemed ultra vires however during his office Commissioner Cory pursued further administration of the Territories, overseeing the appointment of councillors for the first time and establishing operations to facilitate the expansion of oil and gas interests in the region including the opening of the Territories' administration offices at Fort Smith in 1921.


  • Aboriginal interests 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Aboriginal interests

Later in 1921, a memo from the Commissioner's office concerned the well-being of the 150 white settlers of the District of Mackenzie and including future white interests in the Territories. It did not make any reference to the interests of the approximately 3,500 aboriginal population of the District of Mackenzie at that time.[2] However alternative evidence suggests Cory himself was sympathetic to the region's Inuit populace as highlighted in a letter to the Hudson's Bay Company secretary, Edward Fitzgerald accusing Hudson's Bay Company post managers of exploiting the Inuit, and casting doubt on whether the Company could reform its trading system to prevent such abuses.[3]

Cory died in Montreal (St. Lambert) in 1943 and was buried in Ottawa.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b As Long As This Land Shall Last: A History of Treaty 8 and Treaty 11, 1870-1939 By René Fumoleau at Google Books
  3. ^ The "True North" in Pictures? Photographic Representation in the Hudson's Bay Company's The Beaver Magazine, 1920-1945 by Peter Geller

External links

  • List of Canadian Leaders, births and deaths

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