The Fur Trade in Canada The following timeline gives an overview of the history of the fur trade in Canada. This timeline spans from our country’s earliest inhabitants to the present. Both fur-trading companies are discussed, but there is a great-er focus on the Hudson’s Bay Company. Throughout this timeline you will find bolded text which links to a nearby image. In the timeline you will find Red Lake’s role in the fur-trade in red text. Enjoy!
6000-5000BCFirst human inhabitants the Plano people move into Northwestern Ontario. AD985Norse seamen sailing from Iceland to Greenland are blown far westward off their course. They sight the coast of what must have been Labrador. Explorations continue by Norse colonists from Greenland. AD1000Leif Ericson becomes the first European to land in North America. A colony is established in what the Vikings described as Vinland, identified in 1963 as being on the northern most tip of Newfoundland. 1497Italian John Cabot sails west from Bristol, England, to find a new trade route to the Orient for his patron, King Henry VII of England. This voyage leads to the rediscovery of the eastern shores of Canada. 1534Jacques Cartier sails these same routes on an official exploring expedition. Upon returning to the French king, Cartier reports about the lands he has seen and the people he has met. Cartier leads two subsequent expeditions down the St. Lawrence, the last being followed by a party of colonists. 1600Pierre Chauvin establishes a trading post at Tadoussac, on the St. Lawrence River. This post survives for about three years. 8000-6000BCPlants and animals move into Northwestern Ontario as the Wisconsin Ice Sheet retreats northwards. 4000BCArchaic people (decedents of Plano) spread throughout the northwest. Hunters and gatherers use stone tools and copper. 500BCEvidence of widespread trade in and out of Northwestern Ontario. Copper (tools and jewelry) from the southeast, flint and obsidian weapons from the southwest. 1608Samuel de Champlain establishes France’s first Permanent Canadian colony, Quebec.
1629Champlain suffers the humiliation of having to surrender his almost starving garrison to an English fleet that appears before Quebec. He is taken to England as prisoner. Peace, however, is restored between England and France before the surrender, and New France (Quebec) is restored to the French. 1611Henry Hudson’s crew becomes mutinous aboard the Discoveryand sets him and several others adrift in Hudson Bay in a sailing dinghy; their fate is unknown. 1610Henry Hudson enters the strait and the bay which now bears his name and trades for furs with Indians on the shores of James Bay. 1612-1632Exploration of Hudson Bay by several others (Thomas Button, William Baffin, Jens Munk, Luke Foxe and Thomas James) shows it to be landlocked.