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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
Early Inland Trade

At this time, the fur trade inland was very active. The NWC, Fort des Prairies (in the present day Edmonton area) was a thriving concern, staffed in 1804 by six commis or clerks and ten interpreters with two guides. Some of the interpreters were perhaps the ancestors of the Métis families of Lac Ste Anne and St. Albert: Louis Laliberte, Joseph Cardinal, Jean Baptiste Letendre, and Louis Blondeau. In addition, Fort des Prairies had one hundred and eight voyageurs.

After the HBC and NWC amalgamation there was no longer a need for such a large number of employees. Out of work Métis families found places and occupations for themselves in the fringes between the Aboriginal and European cultures and communities. The men still had the skills from their time in the trade and some of them found positions as "trading captains" for Aboriginal bands. This meant they acted as representatives for Aboriginal tribes to European traders. Others took up freighting, hunting or fishing as their way of life. Some became free traders, buying goods in bulk for their communities and traded them for furs, provisions or buffalo robes. It had to appear that the individual or family selling the country goods had hunted or trapped them, themselves. This was the way of life until the trade monopoly of the Hudson’s Bay Company was broken.

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Liens Rapides

Early Great Lake Métis Links

Early Inland Trade

Métis During Competition

Warden of the Plains

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