Alcohol was a part of the North American fur trade from the beginning, and many traders viewed it as a crucial ingredient in business success. For example, in 1764, a group of New York merchants petitioned the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to change regulations banning fur traders from using alcohol in their commerce. They argued “when the vent of liquors is allow’d amongst them, it spurs them on to an unwaried application in hunting in order to supply the trading places with furs and skins in exchange for liquors.”1
But not everyone who engaged in the fur trade saw it that way. This excerpt from a memoir by a Moravian missionary living in 18th century America gives us a glimpse into the reasons one Aboriginal man chose to deal with traders who did not use alcohol in their negotiations.
First Peoples’ principles of learning
• Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors
• Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place)
• Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions
• Learning recognizes the role of indigenous knowledge
• Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story
• Learning requires exploration of one’s identity
Social Studies 9 Big ideas
• Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies
• Collective identity is constructed and can change over time
• Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to: ask questions; gather, interpret and analyze ideas; and communicate findings and decisions
• Assess the significance of people, places, events and developments, and compare varying perspectives on their historical significance at particular times and places and from group to group
• Assess the justification for competing historical accounts after investigating points of contention, reliability of sources and adequacy of evidence
• Assess how prevailing conditions and the actions of individuals or groups affect events, decisions and development
• Explain different perspectives on past or present people, places, issues and events by considering prevailing norms, values, worldviews and beliefs
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