Section 1: Introduction

In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the Hudson’s Bay Company of Great Britain and the North West Company of France were the leading fur trading companies in Canada. The XY Company also was involved in the fur trade business for a few years. These businesses branched out from their main trading centers near the confluence of the Red River and the Assiniboine River on the site of present-day Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A confluence is the place where two rivers join together.

The fur companies set up trading posts extending south along the Red River in Manitoba. Their territory kept extending farther south until it finally reached present-day North Dakota.

Map of the Fur Trading Posts

Map of the Fur Trading Posts in North Dakota, 1800-1845. (SHSND-ND Studies)