of the Fur Trade
The job of preparing
the furs for transportation was done by Aboriginal women. Because
this could be so much work, it took Aboriginal women away from their
normal duties. It also led to polygamy - where one man would have
many wives so she could prepare more furs for him.
The First Nations
and Inuit also aided in the exploration of North America. There
were no maps to help the explorers find their way through the wilderness.
The First Nations and Inuit acted as guides. Explorers, fur traders
and settlers relied on the information they provided. Maps were
sketched on birch bark or drawn in the sand along the river banks,
on the ground, or in the snow.
were the Iroquois.
Originally from the east, they moved west with the fur trade, all
the way to British Columbia. They were very valuable there because
they knew how to make birch-bark canoes - something local First
Nations people could not do.
The Iroquois were
clever traders and
always tried to get the best deal. They were also proud warriors,
which sometimes got them into trouble with other First Nations peoples.
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