From c. 1600-1830, there was a major fur trade going on in North America.

Which native groups were hostile to the fur trade?

I've read that the Iroquois were seen as dangerous by the fur traders, and so they would avoid Iroquois lands, but I have no confirmation of that.

  • 3
    I know that the native beavers were very hostile to the trade, and the minks, for the most part, also opposed the fur trade. Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 3:45
  • most "hostile" tribes were so mainly because they wanted to get rid of the competition...
    – jwenting
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 7:18
  • I was taught back home in Michigan, that the wolverines gave up the beavers, who in turn ratted out the raccoons. The crafty raccoons, after washing their paws, slapped the wolverines back down to the southern part of the state where the Trojans beat them every year in the fall. Go Trojans!
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


In general, all native groups were eager to pursue the fur trade and were quite happy to have found a seemingly unlimited market in these weird white people. On the other hand, most if not all groups were also quite market-astute and were keen on maintaining their monopoly. Thus, they were prone to be hostile to trappers who would venture into the actual hunting grounds. From the point of view of a Native American group, the best place where Europeans could be was the trading post, and certainly not further inland. This biography of Samuel de Champlain contains ample descriptions of the relationships between native groups and European explorers/traders/colonists in the Saint-Laurent and Great Lakes area; a recurrent theme is a combination of friendly welcomes and evasiveness when it comes to actually describing and mapping the geographical features of the continent.

Moreover, North American tribes were operating under a complex set of very fluid alliances, agreements and generalized warfare. European traders who were dealing with native groups soon became embroiled into these diplomatic vagaries. Fur-related deals often implied terms such as exclusivity, and possibly overt hostility toward other traders.

To my knowledge, there is no example of a group who was opposed to trading outright; only hostility toward specific groups of traders, and an eagerness to maintain "trade secrets".

  • Doesn't deal with the extended non-European trading networks. Commented Sep 13, 2014 at 21:45

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