trading post.JPG

The Trading Post

We ended our work with our very own trading post... a good combo of fun + education! Activities included:

-trading beaver pelts for goods (students brought in donations of food for our local food bank to trade)

-writing with a feather (quill) + ink on aged paper

playing games of the time: checkers, cards, jack straws

-beading on leather

-making HBC MB coins

-tasting food from the time period: pea soup, bannock/scones, dried blueberries, jerky

-making butter (for our bannock/scones)

-dressing in period clothing - beaded mocassins, Hudson Bay blanket, Metis sash + toque, fur gloves + coat


-bison fur was used for warm coats, clothing

-spears and clubs were used to hunt

-hatchets were a good hunting too

-beavers were hunted the most

-beavers look like muskrats

-fur was traded (only beaver fur? mainly beaver fur?)

-beaver fur was valuable/expensive

-beaver fur was used for hats

-fur trade = trading fur for money

-the fur samples felt soft, fuzzy, cool, warm (rabbit, muskrat, coyote, beaver)

-the beaver fur was thick (lots of it); it feels fuzzy

-the hide side of the beaver had something that looked gross on it

-the beaver fur isn't as soft as the other furs we sampled

-a license is needed to trade fur

-there were millions of beavers in North America before the Europeans came

-the people that were involved with the fur trade would trade with aboriginals

-Europeans started to trade when they saw the furs that the first peoples had

-the French wanted to come live with the first peoples

-the French wanted the land to themselves

-one type of hat was the D'Orsay Army Hat

-New France's money was from the fur trade

-the fur trade was in the 1600s/in the1800s (for 200 years)

-there was a battle near Montreal at Sault rapids

-trading happened in the summer and they went home in the winter

-they were trading for wealth

-fur was traded for money

-fur was traded for goods/other fur/food/anything

-the men traded the fur

-Europeans were willing to pay money to get the fur

-trade happens when someone wants what the other person has and the other person has what the other person wants

-trading posts were used for trading

-trading posts were built on a river

-Hudson Bay was the biggest fur trading place

-they mostly traded in Canada

-hunters sold meat

-farmers sold their crops

-the first people helped the French; the French showed tools to the first people; they showed each other how to hunt

-Aboriginal women joined the fur trade

-the Mi'Kmaq people lived differently than the Europeans (they had different language, music, artwork, tools)

-there is a lot of info about the fur trade

-Hudson Bay Company was made in 1670

-the fur the Europeans traded to the Aboriginals made them sick with diseases

-the animals were flat

-the beaver makes a lot of things like hatchets, swords, knives and kettles

-the Iroquois is one of the oldest democratic societies in the world

-the Huron and Iroquois fought over controlling the fir trade

-there is no real/authentic portrait of Champlain

-Champlain joined the fight because he depended of the furs

-Jean Talon did a census and did't include the first people

-a merchant, carpenter, joiner were jobs that had the most people working

-the aboriginal/Metis sash has red on it; it is colourful

-the Metis people were lucky and got a lot of land made by agreements by the first nations people


What is the fur trade?

Who started the fur trade?

When did it start? When did it end (or did it end?)?

Why did it exist? Why did they have to trade? Why was there a fur trade?

Was it a good idea?

Who was involved in the fur trade?

Who did the hunting?

Who did the trapping?

Who did the trading?

How did they share the animals?

Were animals killed on purpose?

Was their an age limit to trade?

What season did the fur trade happen in?

Where did the trading happen? Was it in a building?

How much did it cost to buy a piece of fur? What was the most they would charge for fur?

What was the most valuable fur?

Was there fur that no one wanted?

Where did they trade?

Why did they slaughter so many animals?

Was money used? What money was used?

What was the money used for?

How valuable were gold and diamonds??

How much did it cost to claim land?

Did they have to ask the king for a trading license?

What kinds of furs were traded?

What was a bison's fur used for?

Beaver fur was valuable. Why?

Why was beaver fur valuable?

Were other furs valuable, too?

What was the fur used for (other than keeping someone warm)?

Was the fur used for coats?

Can the furs be different colours?

Did the aboriginal people trade their riches for fur?

Did they trade other things, too?

How much got traded?

How did they sell the fur (in strips or whole)?

Did they sell/trade the meat with the animal fur?

Did the meat get cooked for eating?

Who was involved in the trading/who did they trade with?

How did they make/prepare the fur for trade? (How did they get the fur off the animals?)

How did the fur stay soft?

If the English owned/were in charge of the fur trade at the Hudson Bay, how did the French feel about that?

How were the animals killed?

Were the heads of the animals used for hats?

Why were the Huron and Iroquois enemies?

Why is there no authentic/real portrait of Champlain?

Is the fur trade still happening?

Where can I get really good fur?

How long did the voyage take (from Europe)?

Why was there such a difference in how the Aboriginal peoples lived compared to the Europeans?

How long did the battle at Sault Rapids last? What was it about?

Do the colours in the scarf (sash) mean anything?

Metis Sash Facts - Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF)

Who belongs to the scarf/sash...who wears it?


HBC Heritage - Videos (Beaver Pelts [3min 45sec]; Hudson Bay Blanket [3min 46sec])

HBC Heritage - Artifact Gallery

HBC Heritage - Timeline

HBC Heritage - Canoe (once on the page, click to get the full page which is interactive)

Interactive Map - Trade Routes, Posts and Forts - HBC Heritage

National Film Board of Canada - Voyageur Vignette (1 min.)

Fur Trade Routes - Canadian Encyclopedia (scroll through the pictures)

Image Gallery - HBC Heritage

Colouring Pages (BLMs) Fur Trade - HBC Heritage

Canadian Museum of History - Bead Amaze (make beadwork online try to re-create a design like paint by number or create your own design)

Canadian Museum of History - Word Cache (word searches - select easy or hard and the theme)


HBC Hamper - Teacher Resources with Links (PDF) - excellent resource

Beaver Fur (video - shows the under fur used for felting) - show all 1:45 mins.

HBC Company Trade Goods (video - Living History School) - show all 4:37 mins.

Manitoba Trapping Guide - 2015-16 (PDF)

National Film Board of Canada - Voyageur Vignette (1 min.)

National Film Board of Canada - Voyageurs (20 mins.)

Sinew (Deer Back) (video - Living History School) - show to 2:40 mins.