Lisa: Overland to Cariboo
Overland to Cariboo is set in 1862 and follows the story of Lisa and her family as they journey many hundreds of kilometres from Fort Garry (now Winnipeg) to the interior of what is now British Columbia. It is based on the true story of Catherine Schubert, her husband and their three children, who were part of the expedition of Overlanders who travelled west to the goldfields of the Cariboo in 1862.
Ask the children to plan their own trip overland to the west coast, imagining there are no roads and they only have a Red River cart and a slow-moving team of oxen to carry all their belongings. If oxen only travel 3 kilometres an hour, and each day they walk for 12 hours, how long would it take for them to travel from their home to the interior of British Columbia? Also ask the children to decide what they would bring along and what they would leave behind, just as Lisa had to do. Do they have any precious belongings they could not do without? Would they still bring along a heavy toy if they knew they had to carry it the entire way? Encourage the class to think about how difficult these decisions must have been for people like Lisa and her family.
Visit The Cariboo Gold Rush, a site created by B.C. Heritage. It is an extremely informative site and includes a photograph of the real woman who was the inspiration for "Ma" in Overland to Cariboo, Catherine Schubert. Starting on the main page, click on "women" underneath the heading "Cariboo Topics", then click on "Catherine Schubert" (on the left side of the page).