By Ken Coates
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Extra resources for Best Left As Indians: Native-White Relations in the Yukon Territory, 1840-1973
Limited evidence dictates that the period to 1900 be examined through documentary sources. Further, estimates of the impact of disease before the arrival of the fur traders in the 18405 remain speculative, and are based on extrapolation from conditions in adjacent territories. It seems clear, nevertheless, that a major depopulation occurred before the turn of the century. 25 Fisher is, however, outside the historiographical mainstream on this topic; most scholars agree that the arrival of Europeans had a severe impact on aboriginal peoples.
Once established, however, Campbell was to find that his troubles were far from over. Tlingit traders had long controlled the trade of the southern interior, travelling inland regularly to meet their Athapaskan partners. The establishment of Fort Selkirk challenged that decades-old domination. 19 Campbell tried to retaliate in kind, but transportation and supply problems, as well as the firm's unwillingness to lower prices to a competitive level, undermined his effort. 20 The attempted expansion to Fort Selkirk suffered an ignominious end.
These relations had a significant impact on both parties. Equally, they went a long way towards determining the pattern of economic, social, and cultural life in the Yukon Territory. This page intentionally left blank PART ONE Economic Telations PART ONE Economic Relations The historical assessment of Native-European contact in Canada has been dominated by consideration of its economic implications. A vibrant and on-going debate over the role of Native people in the fur trade1 is central to this historiography, but studies of Indian involvement in the British Columbia economy2 and the economic lives of the Dakota3 and Plains Cree4 have broadened the analysis to take into account the years of settlement and industrialization.