Fur Trade Changing the Northwest

The fur trade greatly affected all the peoples in Northwest

The Peoples of the Fur Trade

First Nations~major native groups in the northwest were; Cree, Anishinabe, Nakoda, and the Dene. They played one of the most major parts in the fur trade they were trappers, traders, and guides to the European companies.

First Nations Women~The women of the fur trade played important roles they assisted the men in collecting furs, processing furs, and other main jobs. Since the European men started to settle in the country they started marrying the native women and they created a new people called the Metis.

Hudson's Bay Company~The company was founded in 1670 by two explorers convincing England that they needed to get into the fur trade and claimed the land around Hudson Bay. The company grew to one of the two major companies in the fur trade dominating the market.

Northwest Company~Formed by the merging of several merchants in 1783 this French Company went far into the Northwest. It became HBC's main competitor and one of the main companies of the fur trade. They had very different policies than the HBC they went to the Native groups instead of making them come to the trading posts and sometimes settled there even taking wives .

The Lands of the Fur Trade

The fur trade occurred in North West Canada around Hudson's Bay and most of the surrounding lands. Most of the foreign companies involved were European mainly from England and France.

The Effects of the Fur Trade

The fur trade lasted from early 17th century to the mid 19th century it started because of the European desire for the furs the Natives trapped. It expanded and grew into a vast enterprise because the demand was so strong and the profits were so high for the companies involved. The first nations peoples began to greatly depend on the trading of the furs and European trading posts they began trapping more and more as the demand grew slowly losing some of there traditional jobs. This worked for them while the business was booming but since the beavers were hunted so relentlessly the populations began depleting and furs were harder and harder to come by. The Europeans also brought foreign illnesses and diseases the peoples were not used to and couldn't fight bringing on epidemics. Both the Europeans and the Natives made huge profits but there were also great hardships and disadvantages to the fur trade to the peoples, land, and animal populations.