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The Métis in Western Canada: O-Tee-Paym-Soo-Wuk

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The BeginningsThe People and Their CommunitiesCulture and Lifeways
Fur Trade Era

Trade between Aboriginal and European peoples began almost with their first encounter. With little support from France, New France was reliant on its relationships with its Aboriginal allies from the very beginning.

As one writer has said, "Until the mid-seventeenth century, Europeans were a small minority in the continent who had to adjust to the native ways of conducting trade and war."1 The settlers were dependent on trade with the First Nations people around them. At first, the government in France sought to control trade by granting temporary monopolies along with large land grants for colonization to members of the nobility. This proved to be an ineffective strategy. It was replaced by a more open policy of granting charters or trading rights to companies and to merchant-traders.

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Liens Rapides


Montreal Peddlers

North West Company

Hudson's Bay Company

Geography and Ecology

The Trade


Buffalo Rope Trade

Company Employment (Wage Labour)

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