On Canadian Ground - Stories of Footwear in Early Canada See more of the Virtual Museum of Canada
ExhibitionMemorable Shoes

KAMIKS OF THE INUIT
MOCCASINS OF THE FIRST NATIONS
CHANGING STYLES - THE ROLE OF TRADE & VOYAGEURS
CANOE
THE TRADING POST
CHANGING STYLES THROUGH CONTACT
MÉTIS CLOTHING
THE ENDURING MOCCASIN WITH VARIATIONS
SETTLERS USER MOCCASINS AND SNOWSHOES
SHOES FOR A NEW LAND
SHOES MADE IN THE AGE OF THE CRAFTSMAN
CANADIAN FOOTWEAR IN THE AGE OF THE MACHINE
At the portage: Hudson's Bay Company's employees on their annual expedition, 1882 (Ogden) Bill of lading for Canoe No. 25, North West Company, Lachine, QC, 1802
At the portage: Hudson's Bay Company's employees on their annual expedition, 1882 (Ogden) Bill of lading for Canoe No. 25, North West Company, Lachine, QC, 1802.
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Red glass beads
Red glass beads
The Canoe

From the late 1500s up until the early 1900s, young men traveled across Canada in canoes using the lake and river systems to explore and access remote villages for trade. These men, whose families were often of mixed native and French heritage, were comfortable with European traders and First Nations groups alike which made them ideal intermediaries in trade.

The major employer in the region was the Hudson Bay Company, which set up a trading post on the shores of Hudson's Bay in 1670 under special charter from the King of England. For over 100 years they brought trade goods to their trading houses on Hudson's Bay, while the First Nations and Inuit brought the furs to these trading houses and conducted business.

Exotic Goods

The First Nations acquired glass beads, embroidery threads, metal cones, silk, and stroud cloth to use for decorating moccasins and clothing.

Representatives of the Hudson's Bay Company acquired animal pelts - particularly beaver pelts for making beaver top hats that were fashionable in Europe.

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