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Morley, Alberta

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Title: Morley, Alberta  
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Subject: List of Indian reserves in Alberta, Driftpile First Nation, Athabasca Tribal Council, North Peace Tribal Council, Montana First Nation
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Morley, Alberta

Morley, Alberta is located in Alberta
Morley, Alberta
Location of Morley in Alberta
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Census division No. 15
 • Type Unincorporated
Elevation 1,240 m (4,070 ft)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)

Morley is a First Nations settlement within the Stoney 142/143/144 Indian reserve in southern Alberta, Canada. It is located along the Canadian Pacific Railway between the Trans-Canada Highway and the Bow River, upstream from Ghost Lake. It has an elevation of 1,240 metres (4,070 ft). The settlement is located in census division No. 15 and in the federal riding of Wild Rose. The settlement and the Indian reserve are part of the Stoney Nation.

The historic McDougall Memorial United Church is located a few miles from Morley. Built in 1875, it is southern Alberta's oldest surviving Canada Air Board and the 1969 establishment of Canada's first magistrate's court to be held in a First Nations owned building on First Nations land.


  • History 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Notable people 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Settlement in the Morley area began with the arrival of the Methodist missionary John McDougall and his wife in 1873 to establish a missionary outpost in the Bow Valley for outreach to the western Canada.[1] The site John chose was originally called Ghost River,[2] but he renamed it Morleyville in honour of his friend Morley Punshon, an Ontario doctor.[1][3]

John McDougall and his wife began their work by constructing a two room log shack with a

  • McDougall Stoney Mission Society

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Alexander, Rob (2012-08-02). "McDougall church connects to broader Alberta story". Rocky Mountain Outlook (Canmore, Alberta). Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Mrs. McDougall Dies".  
  3. ^ Curtis, Linda (1955-07-18). "Son of Famous Missionary Has Name of His Birthplace".  
  4. ^ a b c Liverant, Bettina (1986-06-14). "Tiny Morley church keeps historic trappings".  
  5. ^ a b c d e f "McDougall Memorial United Church". Canada's Historic Places. Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  6. ^ "Morley Trading Post Link With Old West".  
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "First Air Harbor in Alberta will open at Morley".  
  10. ^ Hogg, Carol (1969-09-13). "Morley Band Makes History; Court To Be Held On Reserve".  
  11. ^  
  12. ^ John Niddrie - Alberta Online Encyclopedia, University of Alberta


See also

Notable people

However, Industry Canada shows that Morley's greater rural area had a total population of 35 living in 8 dwellings in 2001. With a land area of 58.2 km2 (22.5 sq mi), its greater rural area has a population density of 15.0/km2 (39/sq mi).[11]

Statistics Canada has not recently published a population for Morley.


In 1969, Morley hosted the first magistrate's court in Canada to be held in a First Nations owned building located on First Nations land.[10]

The first airport and test station to be established by the Canada Air Board began operation at Morley in 1920. It was equipped with six Airco DH.9A aircraft used for aerial reconnaissance of Banff National Park, forestry ranging in the Rocky Mountain Foothills, and aerial firefighting.[9]

Morleyville's early prominence declined in the 1880s after the Canadian Pacific transcontinental railroad bypassed the settlement as it was routed through the valley on the opposite side of the Bow River.[5] John McDougall and his wife remained there until their retirement to Calgary in 1898.[2] The church remained in use until 1921 when it was replaced by a new church located a few miles away at a First Nations settlement that developed around an Indian Agency building.[4] This newer settlement is the present-day Morley. The old settlement and its church stood abandoned until volunteers affiliated with the United Church of Canada formed the Morley Church Restoration Society.[1] Work was completed in 1952 and the restored church continues to be used for weddings and special occasions.[4] The building has been declared a provincial historic site and is listed in the Canadian Register of Historic Places; a historical marker at the site describes its significance.[1][5] The McDougall Stoney Mission Society currently maintains the church and the surrounding fifty acres of ecologically significant native prairie that has never been disturbed by agricultural activities.[1]

An Indian residential school operated by the Methodists was located in Morley from 1886 until 1949.[7] A school textbook was published for teaching English to the students residing there.[8] This textbook makes reference to Morley and McDougall.

David McDougall later joined his brother John at Morleyville and helped to found the Indian Trading Post.[2] In its early days, some seven hundred First Nations people visited the post to barter animal skins for food, blankets, stockings, and prints.[6] The homes and the trading post were enclosed by a stockade of heavy logs erected to provide defense in case a party of First Nations warriors attempted a raid.[2] The outpost became a hub for settlers coming into the Bow Valley and reached a population of over two hundred at its peak; Morleyville was southern Alberta's first pioneer settlement.[1][5] A school, orphanage, missionary residences, barns and corrals were built. Southern Alberta's first herd of breeding cattle supplied Morleyville's residents with meat and milk.[5] Sibbald, one of Alberta's first trained teachers, taught at the school.[5]

[5][1] style still standing at the place of its original construction.carpenter gothic It is southern Alberta's oldest remaining Protestant church, the oldest remaining structure in the Bow Valley, and is the province's earliest example of a building constructed in the [1] was built.steeple Around 1900, the log walls were covered with board-and-batten siding and a [4][2] were used to build the one room church. Aside from the framed gable ends, the exterior surface of the log walls remained unfinished, but the interior surfaces were daubed with mud and painted white, except for the paneled end walls.whipsaw Logs and boards laboriously fashioned from local timber with a [1]

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