Lesson 2 - Fur Trade



Algonquin people Algonquins are Indigenous people whose traditional territories encompass parts of southwest Quebec and southeastern Ontario. Along with the closely related Ojibwa and Odawa peoples, Algonquins are part of the cultural group known as Anishinaabeg. (Reference)
Anishinaabe Anishinaabe (or the pluralized term Anishinaabeg) is name of an Indigenous cultural group consisting of Odawa, Ojibwa, Potawatomi, and Algonquin Indigenous peoples. Anishinaabeg peoples' traditional territories span the geographic area of the Northeast and subarctic regions of Canada and the United States. (Reference)
Battle of Seven Oaks The Battle of Seven Oaks occurred on 19 June 1816 near the Red River Colony. It was the culmination of rising tensions between the the colony, supported by the HBC, and the Métis of the area. The battle claimed the lives of 21 settlers, including the newly appointed Governor Robert Semple who had recently replaced Miles McDonnell. (Reference)
Beothuk Now extinct, the Beothuk were Indigenous people who resided in present day Newfoundland. (Reference)
Birchbark canoe A birchbark canoe is a boat that was historically used as a mode of transportation for many Indigenous peoples in North America. It was also used by European fur traders to access inland trade with various Indigenous peoples. (Reference)
Blackfoot Confederacy The Blackfoot Confederacy is a governing structure of 4 First Nations this includes the Siksika, Kainai, Peigan, and Tsuu T'ina.
Canoe du nort The 'canoe du nort' was a name used by French fur traders to describe a small lightweight canoe. (Reference)
Castor gras Castor gras or "coat beaver" is a term used to describe beaver pelts that had been worn down from being used as a clothing garment. These were the most sought after furs during the early fur trade period because European producers were able to more easily access the highly valued undercoat layer. (Reference)
Colonization Colonization is a process of establishing a colony in a foreign territory. (Reference)
Dorset Culture Dorset culture refers to the prehistoric cultures of people inhabiting the geographic regions of present day Greenland and the Canadian eastern Arctic down to Newfoundland. (Reference)
Freemen Freemen was a term used to describe individuals in the fur trade era whom were not under contract with a fur trade company.
Gift exchange Gift exchange or gift diplomacy is the process wherein trading parties provide offerings to each other as a sign of goodwill in their transactions. Exchanging gifts is an important part of ceremony, and so gifts were also exchanged during many other important events, including trade. Highly respected individuals were held in high esteem due to their generosity and giving nature.
Grease-trail Grease-trails were historically linked geographic trade routes used by Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Coast in their trade of eulachon (oolichan) oil with bands located in territories of the interior Pacific Northwest. (Reference)
Guard hairs Guard hairs are found on fur-bearing mammals. These are long and stiff which helps to provide a protective layer against natural elements. (Reference | Reference)
Huron-Wendat Until 1650 when the Haudenosaunee dispersed them, the Huron-Wendat consisted of five Iroquoian nations making up a confederacy of nations. Their traditional territory was located north of Simcoe County in Ontario, Canada. (Reference)
Innu The Innu (Montagnais or Naskapi) are Indigenous people whose traditional territories include parts of north-east Quebec and southern Labrador. (Reference)
League of Haudenosaunee The League of Haudenosaunee has several other names including: Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Iroquois League, League of the Five Nations, Six Nations. Specifically, the League of Haudenosaunee is made up of six nations, the Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, and Tuscarora. Together, they are guided and governed by Kaianere'ko:wa or, the Great Law of Peace. (Reference)
Mariage a la facons du pays Mariage a la facons du pays, or "marriage according to the custom of the country" was a term used to describe common-law unions made between European fur traders and Indigenous women. Essentially, these were marriages unsanctioned by the Church, as there was an absence of missionaries in and around fur trade posts.
Mercantilism Mercantilism was an economic theory and practice employed by various European nations between the 16th and 18th centuries in order to accumulate more wealth. Governments imposed particular regulations relating to trade and commerce as a means to boost their nation's own worth. (Reference | Reference)
Métis The Métis are a post-contact Indigenous people of the Canadian west. The ethnogenesis of the Métis is situated in the fur trade as European men married into Indigenous (Cree, Ojibwa, Saulteaux) families. The offspring of these unions eventually spawned their own communities that nurtured their own unique language (Michif), culture, and a sense of nationalistic aspirations.
Mi'kmaq Mi'kmaq are an Indigenous people whose historical territories include Canada's Maritime Provinces and the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec. (Reference)
Nehiyawak The Nehiyawak (Cree) are Indigenous people of North America whose traditional territories span across the Canadian Sub-Arctic and the Plains. The Nehiyawak are the most populous Indigenous peoples in Canada and as a result of geographic movement over time there are numerous linguistic divisions. (Reference)
Nor'Westers A Nor'wester was a reference to an employee of the Montreal Based Northwest Company. (Reference)
Otipemisiwak Otipemisiwak is the Nehiyaw (Cree) word to describe Métis people. The translation means, the people who own themselves.
Pemmican Pemmican is a food made of fat, dried meat, and berries such as Saskatoons, strawberries or blueberries.The food fueled the fur trade as it stored well and had a high degree of nutrition, which allowed traders to move into northwestern Canada.
Rupertsland Rupertsland (Rupert's Land) was a geographic area spanning across most of present day western Canada. Through a Royal Charter, the HBC was granted exclusive rights to trade and establish posts within the territory and would benefit immensely from land title sales following the transfer title to the expanding Canadian state in 1870.
Selkirk Settlement The Selkirk Settlement, or Red River Colony was initiated in 1811 by Thomas Douglas, the 5th Earl of Selkirk to bring Scottish settlers to North America. The settlers established a colony in the Red River area where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet. (Reference)
Skraeling Skraeling was a word used by Norse settlers to describe Indigenous peoples they encountered. (Reference)
The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) was a British mercantile company established in 1670. The HBC was granted exclusive trading rights to the area known as Rupertsland (modern day western Canada) by the British Crown.
The Northwest Company (NWC) The Northwest Company (NWC) was a fur trade company based in Montreal. The NWC was established in 1779 and rivaled the London based HBC in the Canadian fur trade, however, in 1821 the NWC merged with the HBC under the name and direction of the latter.
The Pemmican Proclamation of 1814 The Pemmican Proclamation was an order enacted in 1814 by the Governor of the Red River Settlement, Miles McDonnell which banned the export of pemmican from the colony. The ban angered numerous Métis families in the area who relied on the sale of pemmican as a main source of income. The Proclamation was a key factor that contributed to the Battle of Seven Oaks in 1816. (Reference)
Undercoat The undercoat of a beaver is the layer of hair found below the guard hairs and is extremely dense which made it well suited for felt production. (Reference)
Wendat (Wyandot/Huron) people The Wentdat (Wyandot/Huron) are Indigenous people of North America. Their traditional territory was located within the Saint Lawrence Valley, however, due to various wars and treaties they migrated and formed communities in the Great Lakes region. (Reference)
York Boat The York Boat was a water vessel used by the HBC to transport furs and goods along various trade routes. Unlike the canoe, a York Boat could transport a significantly larger amount of freight. (Reference)
York Factory York Factory was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post located on the southwestern shore of Hudson Bay. Established in 1684, York Factory was one of the first posts constructed by the HBC. Due to its geographic location, the Fort served as a key command centre for the HBC in North America. (Reference)