Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

From the 'Original Affluent Society' to the 'Unjust Society': A Review Essay on Native Economic History in Canada

Document type Article
Author Tough, Frank
Journal Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development
Volume 4
Date 2005
Pages 30-70


This essay will initiate an assessment of the literature that actually seeks to explain the economic relationships between Natives and Whites. This review is not a detailed empirical study of a particular aspect of Native economic history or a demonstration of the immediate relevance of economic history. Instead, the present-day need for an accessible account, summary and analysis of the existing economic history literature and a critical evaluation of this disparate body of work will be addressed by this essay. By summarizing and reviewing this disparate literature, a rough chronology of Native economic history can trace major changes. Innovative studies using interesting data sources and methods will be highlighted. The examination of economic history before 1870 will focus on the fur trade to consider exchange relations, racial stratification, credit, and resource management problems. The period following 1870 will consider how the social overhead of the fur trade became a government responsibility. --From Introduction