“”Trapping is a very important issue, which is connected tomany other larger issues. For instance, trapping lies at theheart of the First Nation’s distinct society issue. Before I talkabout the present, however, I would like to discuss whethertrapping should have been illegal when Canada was first beingsettled in the 17th and 18th centuries. When the first explorers came to the new world, it wasregarded as a huge slab of worthless rock standing between Europeand the riches of the Orient.
The only reason these explorerseven explored this continent was the hope of finding the North-West passage, a route to the Orient. Fortunately, while searchingfor this North-West passage, some of these explorers stumbledonto a virtual magnet for settlement: The Fur Trade. When peopleheard how pelts of all kinds could be obtained so easily and soldfor so much, the idea of not settling in the new world wasridiculous. Suddenly settlers came to this “slab of worthlessrock” and tried to set up permanent living there.
Even after afew failed attempts the draw of the fur trade was responsible forthe settlement we call New France. After the first steps toward a permanent colony in the newworld were made, the next steps came in leaps and bounds. TheFrench government was sending everyone they could to settle inNew France. Courieurs de Bois, began coming to the colony to trapfurs and sell them back in France. France granted land to poorpeople that were willing to risk the great voyage.
The colonyflourished, and grew. It was the fur trade that was mostly responsible for thiscolony. However, some think that by this point the colony waslarge enough to illegalize fur trapping and still remain aprofitable colony for France. However, there is one major reasonthat fur trading should have been allowed: Relations with theIndians. Relations with the Indians were shaky, at best. Some Indiansbefriended the French, and some befriended the English.
Some justgave their furs to the highest bidder. The relationship with theIndians was more than just a trade agreement. The wars of theIndians were the wars of the French. Now, imagine what wouldhappen if one day, an Indian came to a Frenchman and offered hima pelt. The Frenchman tells the Indian that not only will he notbuy it, but no Frenchman in New France will. Not only that,trapping furs in the forests belonging to the French was notallowed.
The relationships with the Indians which had taken solong to establish would be shattered in days. The Indians wouldprobably recognize the French as their enemies. Now not only theenemies of the Indian “friends” of the French would attack them,but also their “friends”. Settlers would again become afraid tocome to New France because of the fierce Indian attacks. TheFrench colony in New France would cease to exist.
Therefore, Ithink trapping should have been legal then. Now that I havetalked about fur trapping then, I’ll talk about it now. Unfortunately, it is much more complicated now. Animal rightsactivists have told us that it is wrong to kill an animal for itsfur. I strongly agree with this opinion, especially since man-made fur is so accessible.
Unfortunately, there are people whofeel they deserve real fur if they can pay for it. Although Idisagree with them, you cannot just deny them the fur, becauseone way or another they will arrange to get it. Even so, trapping(for fur) should be illegal. If you want real fur, you should notkill wild animals.
You should go to a farm where animals areraised for their fur. The problem of people wanting real fur is small compared toother problems for and against the fur trade. For instance, if weillegalize trapping, the First Nation’s way of life would betotally disrupted. Not letting the First Nation trap is liketaking away a large profession from us, for instance law. Whatwould all the lawyers do if suddenly practising law was illegal?The First Nations, I believe, should be allowed to continuetrapping as long as it is under limits.
However, I believe that,after all, their ancestors had such a successful relationshipwith the land that trapping within limits should not be aproblem. Another problem that would arise if trapping isillegalized is that it is said that too many predators (wolves,etc. ) would roam the forests and be dangerous to farms withlivestock on them. It is said that trapping keeps the populationsof these predators low, so they will not pose as much of a threatto farms. In conclusion, I feel that trapping today should be legalwithin strict limits that allow for the way of life of the nativepeoples and for the balance of nature, but do not permitgratuitous killing of animals.