Beginnings of the Fur Trade
Champlain’s trade partnership with his native allies only got stronger as he grew closer to them, which helped set a great foundation for New Frances economy for future years to come. The French and the Alonquin tribe’s strong alliance established by Champlain lasted for years in New France, and was a great economic trade for both French merchants and the Native tribes. To increase the fur trade, he sent out many of his men, originally called the Trouchements, such as Ettienne Broule, to travel with the natives and establish new trading posts. Years later, and after Champlains departure, these people eventually became known as the Coureurs de Bois, who were a group who would spend long periods in the wilderness, bringing goods and supplies through canoes to different trading posts to expand trade with the natives.
They were crucial in expanding and helping the fur trade thrive for New France. The trading posts set up by Champlain turned into massive trading forts ran by French companies that had monopolies over the fur trade, whom the Algonquin and other tribes continued to trade with. Champlain’s trade alliances expanded into a massive trade network that helped shape New Frances economy.
The Trouchements and Coureurs de Bois often had to face challenges, such as harsh rapids, to accomplish their mission. Their lives of spending long periods in the wilderness were incredibly dangerous, and they faced many challenges, but their perseverance lead to great things for the fur trade which is why they were so important.
The below picture is off two Quebec citizens dressed as Coureur de Bois in a historical reenactment. It shows that the Coureurs de Bois, a result of Champlains innovation, are still remembered today by French Canadians for their role in the early development of Canada.