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Grade 5: Social Studies: Interactions of Indigenous Peoples and Europeans prior 1713

This guide supports the grade 5 social studies curriculum. Inside you will find information on government in Canada, as well as information on First Nations and Europeans in New France and Early Canada

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The Introduction of Alcohol and European Weapons

European guns started an arms race among Indian groups. Tribes with ties to Europeans had a distinct advantage in wars with other tribes because muskets were so much more effective than bows and arrows.

Native weapons changed dramatically as well, creating an arms race among the peoples living in European colonization zones. Indians refashioned European brassware into arrow points and turned axes used for chopping wood into weapons.

The Jesuit

The Jesuits were a group of Catholic missionaries who came to New France in order to convert the Aboriginals to Christianity. 

Christianity was the religion followed by most Europeans.


Coureurs de Bois--Runners of the woods

Courers de Bois

The Fur Trade

This great link has loads of information on the Fur Trade. Topics include New France, Champlain and the Anishinabe People; Voyageurs & Coureurs-des-bois; beaver hats; the life of a Voyageur; and the beginning of the Metis People

Granted by King Charles II of England on May 2, 1670, the Royal Charter gave an exclusive trading monopoly over the entire Hudson Bay drainage basin to “the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson Bay.”

HBC’s York Factory, located on the Hayes River in northern Manitoba, operated from 1684 until 1957. This location was one of the most important posts and distribution points for HBC throughout the fur trade era. 

During the fur trade era, a Standard of Trade was created by Hudson’s Bay Company in order to ensure consistent pricing for European trade goods throughout Rupert’s Land.

Standard of Trade

This link is about trade alliances between First Nations and Europeans. Subjects covered are beads, competition and warfare, alliances and epidemics.

The Beaver Hat


Alliances Among First Nations and Between First Nations and European Settlers


First Nations Relationships with European Traders 

Imagine the reactions of sub-Arctic First Nations peoples that first time they met Europeans in the 1600s. Click on the image.


In the 18th century, many of the British Hudson’s Bay officers took First Nations women, particularly Cree women, as their companions. These women lived part of the time with their Cree families and part of the time at the fort with officers. Through these interactions, a large community of Métis Cree children grew up around the forts.

Copyright 2009 Inuit Heritage Trust Web 2018 

Marriage 'à la façon du pays' refers to the practice of common-law marriage between European fur traders and aboriginal or Métis women in the North American fur trade

Métis women were integral to the fur trade. They were sought after as marriage partners for fur trade managers because of their kinship ties to local First Nations and Métis. Some English Métis women, known as “Country Born,” married high-ranking officials and became members of the “Red River aristocracy.” 

cited from Indigenous People's Atlas of Canada


Fur Trade Weddings 

There were no priests or ministers in the Northwest to officiate at weddings until 1818. Before then, most men married according to Native custom (à la façon du pays).

The impact of European disease on First Nations


When Europeans began arriving on the shores of the Americas, the epidemic diseases they brought with them set off one of the largest depopulations in human history. Click on the image.

Introduction of disease  - Khan Academy

Perhaps the single greatest impact of European colonization on the North American environment was the introduction of disease. Microbes to which native inhabitants had no immunity caused sickness and death everywhere Europeans settled. Along the New England coast between 1616 and 1618, epidemics claimed the lives of 75 percent of the native people. Click on the image.

Canoe construction and design, canoe navigation

Hudson's Bay Company Historical Foundation.- The Canoe (Click on image)

Canadian Canoe at Portage, by Currier & Ives

Without the canoe Canada's founding industry, the fur trade, could not have developed. "Made of birchbark and cedar and held together with tree roots and tar, the canoes used by the French pedlars and their HBC [Hudson's Bay Company] rivals ranged from forty-foot freighters to swift, small vessels used to carry VIPs from post to post."

Newman, Peter c, (2002) An illustrated history of Hudson's Bay Company.Toronto, ON. Penguin Books p.108

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Suggested Search Terms

Suggested Search Terms for Destiny

Elder, shaman, wampum, pictograph, missionary, charter, coureur de bois, seigneur, Filles du Roi, Abenaki, Algonkin, Haudenosaunee, Ojibwe, Ottawa, Potawatomie, Wendat, Weskarini, Beothuk, Innu, Mi'kmaq, Passamaquoddy, Wolastiqiyik

K-Gr. 6: Ask Us/Demande Moi

K-Gr. 6: How do I find out about my topic?

Get Organized

Inspiration software

Don't forget the Inspiration software found on all UCDSB computers.

This program is for visual learning:

graphic organizers, concept mapping, mind mapping, outlining, webbing, and plots and graphs.

K-Gr. 6: How do I create & cite my work?

Academic Honesty Checklist & Bookmark

Use this checklist to help you cite your sources!

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