chapter  5
42 Pages

Glimpses of an Indigenous economy

Patterns of consumption and production of Indigenous peoples in the nineteenth-century fur trade and whaling industry
WithLeanna Parker

This chapter examines the social interactions between Indigenous peoples and the merchants and traders who arrived on their lands in the nineteenth century, significantly fewer scholars have attempted to understand the economic relationships that developed between these two disparate groups. An examination of the consumption and production patterns of Indigenous peoples actively engaged in the fur trade in Canada and the whaling industry in New Zealand demonstrates the modifications to the Indigenous economies that allowed the Indigenous peoples to incorporate new opportunities and adapt to changing circumstances introduced by these commercial industries. The chapter analysis the so-called 'Indian ledgers' that were used to record the basic purchases of the Indigenous peoples coming in to trade at Ile a la Crosse and at least some of the items brought in by Indigenous peoples to pay off their debts.