chapter  Chapter 4
Early Fur Trade Impacts on the Beaver and Slavey
WithJohn W. Ives
Pages 37

Northern Athapaskans have been influenced by an external factor, the fur trade. It is essential to understand if this traffic caused an economic reorganization which dramatically modified Athapaskan man-land relationships. Accordingly, James Knight set in motion plans which would see the first effects of the trade on people like the Beaver and the Slavey. By 1714, Knight had available an “Indian Slave Woman” who had been captured by the Cree, but who had escaped to York. Generally regarded in the literature as Chipewyan, the woman, named Thanadelthur, became the means by which Knight would establish peace between the Cree and Chipewyan in order to attract the latter to Hudson Bay. Sustained contact with the traders brought with it a significant new mortality factor. Groups like the Beaver and the Slavey had little immunity for new arrivals like measles, influenza, smallpox, whooping cough as well as tuberculosis and alcohol addiction.