The issue of fur trade has been controversial for ages, and the potential negative implications of such trade on the Aboriginal population of Canada is certainly one of the most crucial points worth the discussion. Interestingly, there is a tendency that the fur trade emerges in the localities with the limited agricultural self-sufficience, which demonstrates the implications of the process for the region. Furs from the North America started being used in an active trade in the 17th – 18th century.
One of the primary implications of the fur trade in the North America was the close contacts with the Europeans who would purchase the goods. One of the primary effects of such fur trade was the process of rethinking the social role given to the members of the Aborigines who lived in Canada. Aboriginal people were often stereotyped, as it was believed that men participated in the process of fur trade more actively than women. However, the reality and the interaction gained from the process indicates the active participation of both genders in the process. Hence, the major implication of the fur trade on the Aboriginal people of Canada was the cultural exchange, besides the natural exchange of the trade goods. It is unlikely that the Metis were exploited in that process as they were active participants of trade practices.
Moreover, Metis who inhabited in the British Columbia benefited largely from the fur trade, as it was one of the main sources of their income. The process of the overall fur trade was well established, as there were supply depots, where the goods were transported in different directions. The term ‘Metis’ implies the presence of the mix of American Aboriginal with the European descent. Clearly, the trade connections left an important heritage for the Metis and their activities as an entity.
- Goldman, Harvey, and William Morris. Metis. New York, Writers Club Press, 2003.
- Goulet, George R. D, and Terry Goulet. The Metis. Calgary, Fabjob, 2008.
- Pollard, Juliet Thelma. The Making Of The Metis In The Pacific Northwest Fur Trade Children. Ann Arbor, Mich., UMI, 1997.
- Sleeper-Smith, Susan. “Cultures Of Exchange In A North Atlantic World.” 2017.