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Forts Across Canada - Fur Trade Posts

Updated on June 20, 2015

Forts Across Canada unit study

Here is a fun and interesting way to learn about the Geography and History of Canada. Along with the two other modules you could cross Canada through three distinct time periods! Fur Trade posts began European settlement in the New World. It was a hard life in a cold country!

The Fur Trade

The fur trade in Canada began in the 1500s when early explorers would give the natives kettles, knives and other gifts as a token of friendship. The natives returned the gift in the form of furs. Trading posts protected the first *stores.* As the fur trade grew traders traveled farther into the wilderness to hunt. They built simple forts to protect their territory as well as to survive the wilderness.

Did You Know!

Many of these forts became today's cities, some places are still called by their fort names.

Fur Trade Companies

To support the growing fur trade, a network of trading posts were built along Canada's rivers. Two companies, the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company often built forts near each other and one after another.

Download the entire unit study to see what prices at the fur trade posts were like.

Did You Know?

Eventually, the two companies were joined together under the name Hudson's Bay Company.

Trade routes

Lakes and rivers were the highways that connected the forts and so goods were transported by canoes. Voyageurs were the men who ventured into the wilderness to get furs and bring them to the forts.

Download the entire unit study to find out more about the Voyageurs and their canoes!

Did You Know?

A Voyageur was expected to paddle at 55 strokes per minute

Seven Years War

From 1756 to 1763 Britain and France battled with each other in the Seven Years War. This fighting made its way into the colonies and skirmishes broke out all over North America. The winner of this war would control the fur trade.

Download the entire unit study to find out the outcome of this battle!

Did You Know?

The war ended in Europe with the Treaty of Paris.

Decline of the beaver

Before the fur trade there were more than six million beaver in Canada. The high demand for beaver pelt in Europe caused the beaver, in Europe to become extinct. The fur trade in North America threatened the extinction of the beaver too.

Download the entire unit study to read about Grey Owl and how he tried to save the beaver population.

Did You Know?

Grey Owl was not who he pretended to be!

Save Endangered Animals

Be like Grey Owl and help save some animals that are in danger of becoming extinct

Try it Yourself!

Download the full unit study to supplement your lessons or as a lesson itself.

Want to comment on the unit study? Once your child has finished the unit study you can send a comment/quote about it for us to use in our promotions. You will get to pick a free book from our online educational thrift store!

For the complete unit study go to

Comments on my page? - Thanks for reading!

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    • Hedremp profile imageAUTHOR

      Sandra Wilson 

      6 years ago from Wilson Education Resource Centre

      @Zut Moon: thanks for the info - perhaps I will have to study that more to add to the unit study!

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 

      6 years ago

      Did you know that the battle on the Plains of Abraham only lasted 15 minutes. licknerd

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 

      7 years ago

      I love Canadian History .... why not ... I live in Halifax !!!

      Thanks for the lens.


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