Political & Economic Organizations - Additional Reading

Economic Organization

A. Voyageurs

Some European, especially young French men, adapted readily to First Nations ways of life. The freedom and independence of the First Nations suited many of the men. Some had come to New France to escape the rigid social structures of their European Homeland.  Lured by the promise of fur profits, some of them travelled into First Nations territory to begin trading directly with the inland nations.  These men became known as coureurs des bois “runners of the woods” or voyageurs.

 courier de bois

The voyageurs often stayed inland for years, marrying First Nations women and raising families.  They and their descendants, the early Métis people, increasingly took over the middleman role in the St. Lawrence fur trade.

Watch The National Film Board's "The Voyageurs" Video

The Voyageurs by ONFB , National Film Board of Canada