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The Fur Trade After 1900

View of the site at Fort George - Buckingham House

The fur trade did not completely disappear, although most textbooks and general histories of Canada give it little attention after 1870. Many posts continued to operate for some time. Dunvegan only closed in 1918 and parts of the post at Fort Chipewyan were kept in use until 1964. The number and value of furs produced continued to increase in many parts of Canada well into the 20th century. The growth of fur farming and other enterprises changed the business but did not eliminate it. In much of northern Canada, the fur trade remains a significant part of the economy, especially for First Nations and Métis people. Nevertheless, the fur trade does not play the same social, economic or political role in Alberta after the 1880s, but up until that time it had an impact on everything from population to social customs. Historic and archaeological sites including Dunvegan, Rocky Mountain House, Fort Edmonton, Fort Victoria, Fort George and Buckingham House, and Fort Whoop Up are all good places to go to get a sense of the role the fur trade played in our history. Many museum displays and collections from Fort Chipewyan to the Glenbow and Provincial Museum of Alberta also help to tell this fascinating story.

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