The fur trade began in the bush of the Canadian Shield,
making a business from the industry of the aboriginal people. The bush
or "taiga" in Canada extends from Labrador in a band clear across the
upper portion of the continent. This area is known for mixed forest of
poplars, birch, pine, spruce, combined with swampy areas and many small
lakes and rivers.
The wildlife is composed of members of the deer family, two varieties
of large cat, and two of the dog family, as well as many varieties of
small furred mammals. The lakes are filled with fish and waterfowl.
There are few reptile and amphibian species due to the low seasonal
The ecology of the taiga is such that the land has a relatively low
carrying capacity, with few of the large species per hectare. The First
Nations who live in the taiga have adapted their culture to that low
carrying capacity. They live in small bands, and move gently across the
land, staying in each location for short periods. They gather together
into larger assemblies according to the seasons. They determine the
seasons by closely following the patters and cycles of nature, such as
when waterfowl are nesting and fish are spawning.