The Role of First Nations in the Battle of British North America

810 Words4 Pages
The history of First Nation’s involvement in the battle between European nations in the colonizing of British North America is usually presented as one of irrelevance and unimportance; a Eurocentric point of view. However, that view is a misconception. First Nations did play a pivotal role in the battle between the French and English, even though they were never recognized for doing so. The fur trade was an important economic activity for both the French and British in the early part of North American history and First Nations played a key role in the fur trade. First Nations were also key forces in the military struggle between the French and British. The misconception that First Nations were a weak and inferior fighting force is a fallacy, as First Nations proved to be invaluable to both the French and English in their fight for British North America (Thunderbird n.d.). Despite the patriarchal views of many towards First Nations and their roles in the expansion of Europe into North America, First Nations did play a pivotal role in the colonizing of North America. France and Britain were the main players in the struggle to dominate North America commercially, economically as well as militarily. The abundance of fur-bearing animals in North America and demand for furs in Europe started a power struggle between the French and British (First Nations in Canada 2011). Explorers and traders relied on First Nations for their knowledge of the land and how to survive the environmental conditions found in North America (Aboriginal Treaties 2012). With First Nation’s knowledge of the interior trade routes, the French and British travelled deeper into the interior of North America (First Nations in Canada 2011). Again it was the First Nations that made the European exploration possible. Without First Nation knowledge and wisdom of the land, many explorers would have died.
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