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First Nations Conflict With The Europeans Due To The Over Hunting Of Beavers During The Fur Trade

1211 words - 5 pages

I believe that The First Nations did, in fact, have conflict with the Europeans due to the over hunting of animals, specifically beavers. In this position paper, I will explain my viewpoint through three contentions relating to the resolution at hand. First, the First Nations spirituality with animals, then the proof of actual over hunting, and lastly, the European and First Nation visible animosity. Furthermore, I will now delve into my first contention.

The First Nations have a special connection with nature and animals. Since the beginning of their civilization the First Nations as a whole have respected, and protected nature with an unparalleled love for it. The Natural world was ...view middle of the document...

[4] The over hunting created an endless cycle of almost extirpating animal populations then leaving to hunt in a more populous area. Those abandoned areas were called “Fur Deserts”. Wetlands, Forests and other well-used hunting ground ecosystems were wounded with an extreme loss of population that would continue to effect theses areas later on. From 1826 and 1834, Trappers in Washington State killed an average of 3,000 beavers per year, totaling 24, 000 beavers killed in those eight years, only in this area. [5] Throughout the late 1800’s; Beaver hats lost their fashion and other, more cost effective, fur’s and materials were found to make hats with, such as Silk and Nutria. This massacre of these animals left a wasteland of scarred ecosystems because of excessive, over hunting. [6]

Conflict happened between the Europeans and the First Nations often, some instances more violent then others. I will focus on the conflict caused by over hunting, directly and indirectly. [7] As I stated earlier; First Nations respected the animals that they used for food and clothing, and only used them for basic needs. But now, under pressure from both the French and English, it was more of an industry than actually hunting for what they needed. [2] As Beaver ran out of the east, just as it did in Europe; the Europeans pushed west dragging the First Nations with them. The First Nations allied with the French fought against the English and their First Nation allies for trade route supremacy, this tore apart bonds of the tribes in the area. I can infer that those First Nation groups were not happy to be forced to pillage the lands that had supported them for so long. Notable run-ins including the Iroquois skirmishes with the Huron and Champlain and the War of 1812, of which First Nations supported their European trade counterparts. [8]
To recap, the First Nations, because of over hunting and exploitation of the lands, were disgruntled with the Europeans that had pressured them into being an industrialized fur supplier. Not to mention constant French and English conflict that brought First Nations allegiances into European war. [9] These points prove that the First Nations did have conflict with the Europeans due to the over hunting of Beavers during the Fur Trade.

In conclusion, although the Fur Trade was a breakthrough in relations with the First Nations and beneficial in the exploration Canada; negative effects such as the near-extirpation of sought-after animals, disease outbreaks and consequent wars, were also a result. In my three contentions I have stated that:
a) The special relationship...

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