Negotiating the Trade Relationship

A comparative study of credit systems used by Aboriginal trappers and Hudson’s Bay Company employees in northern Alberta (1820s, 1880s, and 1950s)

What did participation in the trade mean from the perspectives of differently-situated participants?

This project examined trading relationships between three discrete periods of time at one trading post in northern Alberta, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Lesser Slave Lake post.

The role of credit was particularly considered. This concept is broadly understood by scholars to represent a key feature of the interface between hunting and exchange.

This project sought insight into the nature of the systems of credit that developed, by conducting interviews with Aboriginal traders and ex-HBC employees who participated in the trade in the mid-twentieth century, and by examining the archival record from two carefully-selected decades of the 19th century.