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Campbell, Marjorie Wilkins. The Nor'Westers; the fight for the fur trade.

Fifth House, dist. by Fitzhenry & Whiteside (195 Allstate Parkway, Markham, Ontario L3R 4T8, Canada). 134p. illus. index. c2002.1-894004-973. $12.95. JS

Fur trading was a shaky business. With limited supplies, traders traveled by canoe and on foot through the perils of Canada's northwest to find furs for the markets in Europe. As the demand rose, traders had to forge deeper and deeper into the wilderness to find furs. But fur trading was literally a life of feast or famine. Some years would be fruitful while others would find men and their families facing the threat of starvation. In the face of these difficulties, a band of fur traders joined forces in 1779. The conglomeration, called the North West Company, was also known as the Nor'Westers. For the next 42 years, the company controlled the fur trade from the Arctic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the St. Lawrence River to the Pacific Ocean. Then in 1821, the North West Company came to an end. The Hudson's Bay Company (predecessor to the Canadian department store chain called The Bay) took over the North West Company.

The Nor'westers is an ideal text for introducing students aged 12 and up to an important chapter in Canadian history. This book was first published in 1954 and earned the author the Governor-General's Literary Award, Canada's top prize in literature. Carol-Ann Hoyte, R.P. Dawson Lib., Mount Royal, Quebec, CAN
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Author:Hoyte, Carol-Ann
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 2003
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