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Stewart is a district municipality at the head of the Portland Canal in northwestern British Columbia, Canada. In 2011, its population was about 494.HistoryThe Nisga'a, who lived around the Nass River, called the head of Portland Canal Skam-A-Kounst, meaning "safe house" or "strong house", probably because it served them as a retreat from the harassment of the Haida and Tlingit from the outer coast. They travelled in the area seasonally to pick berries and hunt birds. It and the rest of the Portland Canal had been the domain of the Tsetsaut people, also called the Skam-a-Kounst Indians, or Jits'aawit in Nisga'a, an Athapaskan people who became decimated by war and disease and were driven out of the Stewart area by either Haida or Nisga'a in 1856-57.The Portland Canal was first explored and named in July 1793 by Captain George Vancouver in honour of William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland (1738-1808), Home Secretary from 1794 to 1801. Vancouver met two friendly native people at the current site of Stewart, BC (Voyage Of Discovery To The North Pacific Ocean, And Round The World In The Years 1791–95, by George Vancouver). The area around the Portland Canal was again explored in 1896 by Captain D.D. Gaillard of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (after whom the Gaillard Cut in the Panama Canal was later named). Two years after Gaillard's visit, the first prospectors and settlers arrived. Among them was D. J. Raine, for whom a creek and a mountain in the area are named. The Stewart brothers arrived in 1902. In 1905, Robert M. Stewart, the first postmaster, named the town Stewart.Plan your trip to Stewart and other Canada destinations using our handy Canada itinerary builder.
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