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Indians in the Fur Trade: Their Roles as Trappers, Hunters, and Middlemen in the Lands Southwest of Hudson Bay, 1660-1870 (Heritage) Paperback – February 1, 2015

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'One of the most significant contributions that this work makes to the literature of the fur trade is a clear and factual delineation of the relationships between the traders and the Indians. The reader becomes acutely aware of the fact that they were primarily peaceful relationships based upon interdependence and cooperation of both parties.'--Charles E. Hanson Jr.

Review

'A model study of the fur trade in all its economic aspects. ... Illuminating inferences from scattered statements in primary sources demonstrate the author's mastery of his subject.'

(Harvey L. Carter American Historical Review)

'Ray's study underscores the essential insights which multi-disciplinary approaches can bring to fur trade history.'

(Sylvia Van Kirk Canadian Historical Review)

'Ray handles his material with clarity and conciseness, providing a significant study not only of the fur trade, but of the history of cultural changes brought about by the extension of white influence over a red continent.'

(Gary C. Stein American Indian Quarterly)

'An important, ground-breaking study of the Assiniboine and Western Cree Indians ... essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the Canadian West before 1870.'

(Choice)

'A rather remarkable historical picture of the varying, and interactive roles played by these Indians (especially the Assiniboine and Cree) in the Northwest fur trade economy, but has also analyzed the ramifications of their respective, changing roles for their migrations, seasonal movements, ecological adaptations, interethnic relations, population figures, and material culture. The reader is presented with an eagles eye view of the dynamic, overlapping demographic (both macro- and micro-) patterns of all ethnic groups in the area, together with a multiplicity of complexly interrelated causal factors which arose directly or indirectly from the Indians' participation in the fur trade.'

(Susan R. Sharrock Ethnohistory)

'One of the most significant contributions that this work makes to the literature of the fur trade is a clear and factual delineation of the relationships between the traders and the Indians. The reader becomes acutely aware of the fact that they were primarily peaceful relationships based upon interdependence and cooperation of both parties.'

(Charles E. Hanson Jr. Plains Anthropologist)
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Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; Revised edition (February 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802079806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802079800
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,659,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Smallchief on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
There are probably only about three people in the world interested in this subject: you, me, and the author. That being said this is a jewel of a book in the genre of academic histories. Not the least of its virtues is that the author has included the astonishing total of 46 maps and charts to help the reader along. Given the usual sparse and inadequate maps of low-budget academic books this is much-appreciated.

The focus of the book is the trade relations between the Cree and Assiniboine Indians of Manitoba and Saskatchewan with French and English traders. In describing the trade the author drops in numerous pearls of wisdom about wildlife and ecology of the Canadian plains, Indian hunting strategies, inter-tribal relations, epidemics, and even details about the trade items most popular with the Indians and their prices in beaver pelts. One of the most interesting sections of the book concerns the role of firearms versus bows and arrows in Indian hunting and warfare. Another little gem concerns the Indian dislike of eating "red deer" meat. It took me a while to figure out that the Canadian author was talking about what we would call "elk" in the US.

This is a sound and scholarly history that delves deeply into the files of the Hudson Bay Company and other trading companies to paint what seems to be an authentic picture of Indian life on the Canadian plains in the early days of White/Indian contact. Highly recommended!

Smallchief
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By Nora Lande on September 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the information most interesting. I had hoped to learn of fur trade days into the 1880s and beyond. My ggrandf ather and his son ggrandfather both were employed with HBCin McKenzie district.Through educational books, such as yours I now have a more complete picture of the never ending physical toil of these dedicated men and woman. Thanks for suggesting this book.
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