Native people were coming into contact with the Europeans more and more often and for all sorts of reasons. These contacts gradually changed the lifestyle of Native people.
Coureurs de bois and traders
The coureurs de bois and traders had a huge impact on the lives of Native people because they were at the centre of the fur trade, the main economic activity at the time. They encouraged Native people to provide them with more and more furs in exchange for European goods like muskets, knives and alcohol.
The importance of these trades changed the behaviour of Native people. Rather than simply hunting to meet their needs, Native people started to overhunt to acquire European products. Over time, they became dependant on bartering with the Europeans.
The missionaries had been trying to convert Native people to Catholicism ever since their arrival in America. By 1745, they had managed to convert many Native people and were housing them in reductions where Native people increasingly adopted the European way of life. This change was very significant because Native people were gradually abandoning their animist religion and customs such as hunting.
Author: Alexandre Lanoix