Eric's Big Red River Carts
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What they used them for
The Red River trails on which the carts were used extended from the Red River Colony via fur-trading posts, such as Pembina and St. Joseph in the Red River Valley, to mendota and St. Paul, Minnesota . Furs were the usual cargo on the trip to St. Paul, and trade goods and supplies were carried on the trip back to the colony.
The carlton trail was also an important route for the carts, running from the Red River Colony west to Fort Carlton and Fort Edmonton in present day Saskatchewan and Alberta, with branches such as the Fort a la corne trail. The carts were the primary conveyance in the Canadian West from early settlement until the coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway toward the end of the century. Carts could not be used west of Fort Edmonton because there were no roads or trails passable by wheeled vehicles over the Rocky Mountains.
Invented and developed by the Metis and Anglo-Metis peoples, it is sometimes used today as a symbol of Métis nationalism.