Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

The Indian, the Métis and the fur trade: Class, sexism and racism in the transition from “communism” to capitalism

Document type Article
Author Bourgeault, Ron G.
Journal Studies in Political Economy
Volume 12
Date 1983
Pages 45-80


The object of this paper is to argue that the fur trade of the Hudson Bay basin, in what is now northern Canada, initially transformed Indian labour into that of a peasantry caught in the feudal relations of production. The paper will also show the nature of Indian women's subjugation, a subjugation taken to establish the fur trade. Class, racial and sexist divisions came to be imposed upon the Indigenous Indian population through colonial relations based upon a particular of exploitation.