The Fur Trading Posts of Early Acadia as Points of Cultural Exchange

Author(s): Katie Cottreau-Robins

Year: 2014


Historical records describing early seventeenth-century New France are numerous and varied. The writings of Lescarbot and Denys, the cartography of Champlain, and the mercantile documents of the day all lend insights to this contact period. Such records are particularly relevant for early Acadia and the movement of settlers, traders, and Mi’kmaq from the initial Annapolis Basin settlement area to the fur trading posts and forts developed along the coastline of Nova Scotia. Missing from the narrative is an understanding of day to day life at such trading forts and the complexities of aboriginal engagement that took place. This paper presents preliminary research concerning the fur trading post Fort St. Louis, located at ‘Cap de Sable’ on the southwest coast of Nova Scotia. Noted as an active point of intersection, Fort St. Louis, has remained relatively undisturbed since its razing in 1641. Initial archaeological evidence of colonial habitation and imperial exchange has been collected but what of aboriginal engagement in this significant Mi’kmaq territory? How can archaeology inform our current narrow understanding of the cultural intersections between the Mi’kmaq and the French in the early days of Acadia? These are questions key to the archaeological work moving forward as research shifts in focus to the Mi’kmaq presence at the Fort.

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The Fur Trading Posts of Early Acadia as Points of Cultural Exchange. Katie Cottreau-Robins. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437033)

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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

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PaperId(s): SYM-49,02