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HIST 202 – Natives and Newcomers.docx

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HIST 202
Catherine Desbarats

HIST 202 – Survey: Canada to 1867 (September 14 2011) Natives and Newcomers  The first Europeans to come to Canada were fishermen. They followed to the cod and had no intentions of conquering Canada at this time. It doesn't directly lead to colonization. The French are the most numerous newcomers. They are not alone; the fisheries are a cosmopolitan affair. They come from England, Spain and Portugal and is a competitive terrain. The news starts to circulate after an Italian lands at the grand banks of Newfoundland by John Cabot in 1492 that "is the discovery" of the grand banks. Cabot sends back a letter stating the numerous amount of fish and strikes and responsive cord because the demand for fish in Europe is very high…they are a predominantly agricultural society where meat is very expensive. For a third of the year, the church doesn't allow the eating of meat, but people can eat fish during this time so such a high concentration of fish is very interesting. Fishermen come over for a year and then go back…they don't want to settle and the catch is easy. The problem for Europeans at this time isn't catching but preserving. Two types of fisheries:  Wet fisheries: the fish is caught and placed in the whole of the ship and is slated. All being done on the boat. Salted fish can last for a few months especially in cooler weather. Their gathering knowledge of the coast line and the geography of Canada  Dry Fisheries: the fish are caught…brought to shore and lightly salted and dried on the shore line. They start building quite extensive facilities and fisherman start getting off their ships. They have to build things like ovens and numerous buildings. This demands more investments, energy spent and time spent as well. Men are left on the boats, head out on "chaloupes" and some are on the shore and take care of the drying. These men will come into contact with the native people. Some relationships are more dense then others. Some native people will destroy fishing installations that are left behind by the Europeans. o Island populations are very vulnerable because they have no where to run to when Europeans come on land. o o The encounters aren't all violent. The Basques(people between France and Spain) come as whalers near where the St-Lawrence river become the gulf. The is lots of evidence of trade between the whalers and hunting and gathering populations. There is traces of native settlements and apparently living with the Basque. Archaeologists have a hard time differentiating the difference between what finds are Basque and which are Native American.  Long before major colonization efforts, there seems to be an important Basque settlement with intense cultural exchange. The Fur Trade:  The early fur trade seems to have begun in the early 16th century. We start to see contracts in the North of France telling fisherman to bring back fish but also to bring back furs. By the 1580's, we start to see expeditions in notarized contracts that are purely fur tr
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