The northwest hbc & nwc

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Information about The northwest hbc & nwc

Published on February 5, 2014

Author: juddteacher



Brief intro to HBC & NWC in the Northwest, Ruperts Land, Canada

THE NORTHWEST Land outside of Canadian Colonies

Most of Canada as we know it was not included in the Province of Canada (1841) or the Dominion of Canada (1867)

The Northwest in 1800 • The land to the north and west of Canada West had been occupied by First Nations and Fur traders from the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and the Northwest Company (NWC) • The Hudson’s Bay Company had been given trading rights to Rupert’s Land – all the lands drained by rivers flowing into Hudson Bay. • Rupert’s Land was 1/3 the size of modern Canada

Hudson’s Bay Company Review • Founded in 1670 • Built several trading posts, encouraging Assinboin, Cree and Ojibway trappers to bring their furs to trade at the posts • Employees of the HBC were British. • Furs were shipped to England every summer, when Hudson Bay is ice free from July to mid-September • Competition from the NWC meant that HBC trading posts had to built further away from Hudson Bay to be more accessible to trappers

North West Company Review • Established in 1783 by the “Montrealers”, as a merger of several smaller companies • Furs were shipped to England from Montreal • The NWC headquarters were in Fort William (1803) , at the western end of Lake Superior, allowing easier water transportation of furs to Montreal • English business men from Montreal seized the French fur trade in 1763 after the fall of New France. • Different approach than HBC, many “employees” shared in company profits which encouraged them to ensure its success

Role of First Nations in the Fur Trade • Hunted and trapped animals for their fur, mainly beaver • HBC expected the Assiniboine, Cree and Ojibwa trappers and traders to bring the furs to their forts for trade • Paid according to the value set by “made beaver” pelts that were sent back to the UK to make hats/outer wear. • Could buy goods at the trading post – exported from Europe and generally unavailable from Canadian resources.

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