Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

Rossville Mission, Norway House

Rossville Mission, Norway House
(Courtesy of the Manitoba Department of Conservation)
Installed 1999
Rossville United Church
Norway House

Superintendent James Evans of the British Wesleyan Methodists established Rossville Mission in 1840. The mission was an attempt by the Hudson’s Bay Company to encourage Aboriginal employees to stay in the district rather than move to the Red River Settlement.

Rossville was to be a model village where the Cree residents would be instructed in European Christianity and encouraged to become settlers. The Company provided a substantial church, parsonage, and school for this purpose.

At this mission, Evans developed the Cree syllabic system. Adapted to many different languages, syllabics spread rapidly among Northern Aboriginal societies through the widely distributed books produced by the Rossville printing press.

Evan’s opposition to Sunday work and his encouragement of fur trade competition angered Governor George Simpson of the Hudson’s Bay Company, who secured his removal. The community was served by the Canadian Methodist Conference after 1853 and by the Board of Home Missions of the United Church of Canada after 1925.