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Victoria, British Columbia: History Main article: History of Victoria, British Columbia The Songhees settlement was located on the south side of James Bay, where present-day Victoria now lies. The Songhees' territory and resources were never controlled by the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), which was officially granted as a fur trading monopoly in 1670. The Spanish and British took up the exploration of the northwest coast again in 1774. A mission was established at Fort San Miguel at Nootka Sound (Spanish for "Sound of Silence") near Vancouver Island to encourage trade with local First Nations people there; however this fort was not built until after 1790 when Britain had asserted sovereignty over all Pacific North American lands except Alaska.