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  • top frame 
  • Women trading furs for fabric
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Women trading furs for fabric, rickrack, stockings, Eddy Matches, and other goods, Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, c. 1927-30. Provincial Archives of Alberta, Image no. PR. 87.0355

Fur Trade Enters the North

Fur for Money

“The people used fur for money; they traded fur for things from the trader. The traders travelled with stuff to sell to the people. They travelled all over the place, wherever the people were living. In the wintertime they used dogs and in summer time they paddled boats. People bought ... food ... shells, tea, matches ... The traders bought mitts and moccasins that the people had made.” Noel Yelle, Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories, 1987.

A period of rapid cultural and historical change began in the late 18th century, when foreigners arrived in the Athapaskan territory and indigenous people became involved in the European fur trade. Exposure to foreign fashions in dress and adornment and access to trade goods ultimately had a dramatic effect on Athapaskan clothing.