Montagnais-Naskapi - History and Cultural Relations

Hunting peoples long occupied Labrador, but it is not known when the ancestors of the Montagnais-Naskapi arrived in the region. By the mid-sixteenth century the Montagnais-Naskapi were in frequent contact with European traders who took beaver pelts and other furs in exchange for cloth, copper kettles, knives, and other European trade goods. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the development of the fur trading economy served to draw the native population toward the trading centers on the St. Lawrence River. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, White settlement along the St. Lawrence and the establishment by the Hudson's Bay Company of trading posts in the central and Eastern parts of Labrador Peninsula combined to encourage the movement of Montagnais-Naskapi groups back inland.

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