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coureur de bois
Transcript of coureur de bois
What does Coureurs de bois mean ?
Coureurs de bois translates from french to "runners of the woods".
At first the coureur de bois where the people that collected the fur from the natives and inuit peoples at the trading posts. These people where known as the middle men.
They set the trap up by taking it and putting it into the water. After this they would take the end of a chain,which was attached to a peg, and peg it into the ground so the beaver could not get away once trapped.
Next , they would put caster on a stick to lure the beavers to the trap.
Caster is a oil sack/gland from beaver that is used to lure the beaver into trap. It is taken from beavers that where caught before.
After this the trap would be checked often to make sure no one takes the trapped beaver
Once the beaver was trapped they would now take the meat out and all the fat off on the inside of the beaver skin. This job was usually done by the women.
Now the fur was soaked in a mixture of liver or cooked brains, the fur sat in this for 1-3 days then it was taken out. After this it was washed and rubbed with a tight rope, this whole proses made the fur soft and durable.
Fur trade usually happened in the winter when the fur was in the best condition (thickest).
how did new France come to be new France?
In 1603, Samuel de Champlain made his first trip to North America and found Quebec.
The primary task of the Coureurs de bois in New France was for them to hunt or trade for furs with the First Nations people.
The contact between the Coureurs de bois and various First Nations people changed the lifestyles of the coureurs de bois in many ways such as:
Before the contact with the aboriginals, most of the coureurs de bios did not know how to survive in the wilderness. The coureurs de bois did not know how to
make a canoe
row and steer a canoe
make clothing to keep warm in the colder months
make a meal that sustains what their jobs are so that they have enough energy
read a map
design a map /not all needed this skill
build a settlement
the book close up Canada
Canada revisited 7
These where needed skills to have in the fur trade. If they had not been taught these skills many of them would have died because of survival things. Many of these men were very young and these skills would have been a good skill to have when building a family and overall later on in life.
From the perspective of the coureurs de bois, describe the nature of the contact between these adventurers and the First Nations peoples with whom they came in contact with ?
"Bonjour finally we are going to do some business, with the first nations peoples by our side. Right now I am with the First Nations people. The first Nations are teaching me and my men how to build the canoe, later on they said we will go trap they beaver."
"Now we are going to trade the beaver, we just finished trapping them. The first nations people said that they would share the goods we get equally. Finally I will no longer be the middle man."
"Those natives lied they did not give me and my men any goods they are liars and we will never trust them again."
"We have been walking for months and we just found a First Nations peoples tribe. We are now going to make alliances with them. Hopefully they will supply us with food, I am so hungry. I just want to find a way to survive and be productive out here but it is so hard."
"We just woke up they said yes. We have an alliance with them. They gave us shelter for the night and food :). I think we have a chance of survival."
Contact between first nations people and the coureurs de bois changed the lifestyles of the First Nations peoples because Before the natives came in contact with the coureurs de bois the first nations people believed in only taking from the earth of what was needed. These people made everything themselves from cooking to shelters to clothing and accessories. This changed when the coureurs de bois came they started being guided out of their beliefs and ways. This was because not only did the first nations people teach the coureurs de bois but the coureurs de bois taught the first nations people to and this meant change in the ways the first nations people had been doing things for many years in the past.
"It has been a month since we left their tribe. 1 week ago the First Nations people put a trap where we where hunting , I mean that is our territory to hunt in."
French people made an alliance with the Huron and Algonquin tribes. This was because the two tribes where very large and in the past had very little argument.
He then realized that this would be a good place to start a colony.
He did start a colony and this was how new France started.
But the coureurs de bios realized they where the middle man, they also decided this was too slow and last but not least they where curious.
"We have mixed emotions about the new people/coureur de bois. Some are nice and do not invade our territory but some are to pushy and invade our personal space.'
"One time me and my guys where out fishing and the newbies come and fish right beside us. They get all of the fish and we get very little. "
"Another time we where hunting the beaver and we set up the trap and everything and we come back in maybe 10 minutes and our trap is gone so they stole our trap. They are getting on my nerves".
"One month later their people come to our tribe peacefully and say sorry and offer an alliance. we accept. We are now working together".
"They have been very nice over the last few months and they are letting us use their hunting tools free of cost".
And this was how the coureurs de bois started.
This is an important topic to study because it is important to know about how the fur trade started because believe it or not the fur trade is still going on, but just in a different way. You may just be part of the fur trade when you are older.
This work was done by Rebecca Otte.