Reconstituting the fur trade community of the Assiniboine basin, 1793 to 1812
Clarke, Margaret L.
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Scholarship on Metis and fur history has tended to categorize French Metis and English mixed blood groups as separate ethnicities without accounting for the frequent cross-marriages between the groups. Studies have examined ethnic change in later Red River society from the standpoint of the (paternal) European ethnicity or of aboriginal heritage. In this examination of a fur trade community in the Assiniboine River basin, an analysis of the ethnic origins of fur trade employees and the intermarriages of their children is combined with the narrative of cross-company cooperation between the Northwest Company employees and the Hudson's Bay Company men. By reconstituting the community of the Assiniboine basin Margaret Clarke tested the hypothesis that cross-cultural intermarriages were explainable by membership in a geographically bond community and found that for specific fur trade employees, categorized as "stayers", the hypothesis was true.