Better know a Canadian institution: the Geographical Names Board of Canada

Canada has a lot of places. And every mountain, river, lake, cape, strait, pass and settlement has to have a single, official, agreed-upon name.

To do this, the Geographic Board of Canada was founded in the Department of the Interior in 1897 to act as the official arbiters in naming disputes. It was moved to the Department of Mines and Resources in 1936, renamed the Canadian Board on Geographic Names in 1948, moved to the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys in 1950, renamed the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names in 1961, moved to the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources in 1966, moved to the Department of Natural Resources in 1995, and renamed the Geographical Names Board of Canada in 2000. Since Canada ratified the Antarctic Treaty in 1988, the GNBC also has a say in naming places in Antarctica.

The chairs of the Geographical Names Board of Canada have been:

François Frédéric Gourdeau de Beaulieu 1897-1910
William Patrick Anderson (1st term) 1911-13
Edouard Gaston Deville 1913-24
William Patrick Anderson (2nd term) 1924-26
James White 1927-28
John Davidson Craig 1928-31
Walter Halcro Boyd 1932-40
Alexander Dickinson 1940-45
Frederic Hatheway Peters 1946-48
Kenneth Gordon Chipman 1948-49
Phillip Ebenezer Palmer 1949-54
Cyril Horace Smith 1955-59
Norman Leon Nicholson 1959-64
Jean-Paul Drôlet 1964-88
John Hugh O’Donnell (1st term) 1988-90
Henri Dorion 1990-91
John Hugh O’Donnell (2nd term) 1991-92
E. Anthony Price 1992-98
Gisèle Jacob 1999-2009
Bruce Arthur 2009-now

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s