Aboriginal response on the plains to the Hudson’s Bay Company pemmican trade, 1780-1879

January 20, 2016. University of Calgary Room ES 443. 7:30pm

George Colpitts, University of Calgary

Scholars are presently divided over the extent to which aboriginal plains people responded to the market demand for bison pemmican to support the fur trade in Western Canada. This presentation explores the type of market developing in the British West, particularly after 1821 when the Hudson’s Bay Company, through its district purchasing system, could better control prices it paid for bison dried meats, fats and pemmican offered by aboriginal people. The company’s monopoly created distinctive encounters between newcomers and aboriginal people on the plains and likely affected long-term colonial developments.