In 1670 when King Charles II granted the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) charter, the Indigenous peoples who called the land home (Rupertsland) fell under HBC rule. While much of the history of the HBC, its trade monopolies, and European stories of Indigenous encounters and cooperation are known, narratives of the HBC from an Indigenous perspective are now being recovered. This course will provide a history of the Hudson’s Bay Company rule of Rupertsland (1670-1870) from an Indigenous perspective, with individual lectures illustrating how Indigenous peoples adapted to and resisted HBC rule. It will examine the complex relationships forged between Indigenous peoples and HBC ‘company men,’ and provide a new perspective on the history of the HBC.
Leah Hrycun is a PhD student in the Faculty of Native Studies at U of A. Her research interests include Métis histories, Indigenous/ settler relations, land dispossession, and community-based research that brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to take active steps toward reconciliation.