LakeWinnipegLakeManitobaRedRiverFortGarryAssiniboineRiverRoseauRiverSeineRiverLaSalleRiverFrench parishesEnglish parishesNSWE01530kilometresFIGURE 4–20After the merger, the new HBC began expanding into the area west of the Rocky Mountains. Fort St. John, shown here, was renamed by the HBC in 1821 and operated for another two years.What challenges were faced by traders working west of the Rockies?
The Northwest149Changes in OrganizationBecause the direct route from York Factory to England via Hudson Baywas cheaper, the Fort William to Montreal route was abandoned, and Yorkboats were adopted as the main means of transportation. The new HBCalso drastically reduced the number of trading posts and employees.The company now increasingly relied on FirstNations and Métis to support its operations.The Métis became the primary suppliers ofpemmican and labour to the HBC, while FirstNations were employed as trappers, translators,guides, and map-makers.The HBC also appointed a new head ofoperations for North America. The man theyselected was George Simpson, a Scottish sugarbroker. Simpson did not know much about fursand knew less about the Northwest, but he didknow how to run a company. In 1820, in hisearly thirties, he was named Governor-in-Chiefof the HBC. He ran the company for the next40 years.Simpson was a dynamic man and a hands-on manager. He refused to run the HBC frombehind a desk in Montreal. Between 1821 and1829, Simpson criss-crossed Rupert’s Land fromHudson Bay to the Pacific Coast. Typically, heset off by canoe in the spring and spent thesummer and autumn visiting as many tradingposts as he could. Simpson preferred to arrivewithout warning and spent hours grillingtraders and factors.1.Describe how European settlement had an impact on the Métis. Identifytwo or three main ideas with supporting details that explain and supportyour response.2.Lord Selkirk has been called an “unrealistic idealist.” Find evidence to support or refute this claim and discuss your views with a partner.3.Was the conflict over Selkirk’s Red River Settlement inevitable? Provide reasons for your answer.4.How could the Battle of Seven Oaks be seen as a turning point in Métis history?5.How could the merger of the HBC and the NWC be seen as a turning point in the history of the Northwest?Patterns and Change