Speaker Series: Driving the Pacific Northwest in 1916

The Highlands Historical Society invites you to join us for a fascinating presentation by John McDougall, “Driving the Pacific Northwest in 1916”.

Date and Time:  Wednesday, October 26, at 7:00 pm.

Location:  Room HA010, Hole Academic Building, Concordia University Edmonton, 7128 Ada Blvd.

Directions:  The Hole Academic Building is accessed from the parking lot on the north side of the University.  To access the parking lot from Ada Blvd, turn north on 71 street.  To access the parking lot from 112 avenue, turn south on 73 street.  Parking fee is $3.50.

Fee:  This event is free to members and non-members.

We are excited to introduce you to John McDougall!

John McDougall, P.Eng, FCAE, FEC

Our speaker, John McDougall, traces his roots to John Alexander McDougall, who bought the land that is now the Highlands from the Gullions. He intended to develop an experimental farm, but Magrath-Holgate made him the proverbial ‘offer he couldn’t refuse’. On his mother’s side, John’s great grandmother was Gwichen from Fort McPherson. Both sides of his family have deep roots in the Highlands; John grew up in what we now call the Parlee house on the corner of 63 Street and 111 Ave. Here is a photo of his house and the family car (a Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn), taken in 1954.

John McDougall graduated from the University of Alberta in 1967 with a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering.  He began his professional career as a petroleum engineer with Imperial Oil. He has had a distinguished career as an entrepreneur and in public and private practice. John has an amazing record of contributions to the community, province and country. He is passionate about, and has provided important leadership, advancing the science, technology and innovation sectors of Canada’s economy. He was the inaugural Poole Chair in Management for Engineers in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta from 1991 to 1997. He then served as President and CEO of the Alberta Research Council for 12 years from 1997 to 2009 and then as President of the National Research Council from 2010-2016.

John is an active participant in professional and community affairs. He was President of APEGA in 1980 and President of CCPE, now Engineers Canada, in 1991. He has chaired the Alberta Science Foundation, contributed to the Edmonton Space and Science Foundation, and is a founder of the Spirit of Edmonton. John is a Fellow of Engineers Canada and of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

In his spare time, John travels and manages the family photos. Some of those are included in his talk “Driving the Pacific Northwest in 1916”. 

  2 comments for “Speaker Series: Driving the Pacific Northwest in 1916

  1. Sandra Boos
    October 21, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    To Whom it may concern:

    I’m hoping in the upcoming speech that John McDougall makes, he will touch on the unfair treatment of the Métis people in Alberta and what part his ancestor John A McDougall played in robbing them of their land. This speaker needs to keep a true account of history for the students of Concordia University especially during this time of Truth and Reconcilliation.

    “McDougall & Secord did a major business in buying Metis scrip and re-selling it at a profit. Sometimes a scrip, a mere scrap paper, could be obtained for a bottle of whiskey, then could be used to obtain 160 acres of choice farmland which then sold for $2 an acre.[4]Alleged schemes that Secord used to secure scrip at that time are described in Rob Houle’s research “Richard Henry Secord and Metis Scrip Speculation” (June 2016), available on-line.

    With this business and their other lines, McDougall and Secord became millionaires by the time Alberta became a province in 1905.”

    Métis scrip was a coupon or an entitlement to land. In the late 1800s, the Canadian government began to implement the scrip system, setting up tents for Métis people to make their land claim. Métis applied for scrip in these tents.

    Sandra Boos

    Highlands Edmonton, Keeping history real

    Sent from my iPhone



    • October 26, 2022 at 5:56 pm

      Hello Sandra.
      John McDougall’s presentation this evening is about a vehicle trip to the Pacific Northwest. We hope you will come and enjoy his talk.


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