Beginning with the founding of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670, the fur trade dominated the development of the Canadian west. Although detailed accounts of the fur-trade era have appeared, until recently the rich social history has been ignored. In this book, the fur trade is examined not simply as an economic activity but as a social and cultural complex that was to survive for nearly two centuries. The author traces the development of a mutual dependency between Indian and European traders at the economic level that evolved into a significant cultural exchange as well. Marriages of fur traders to Indian women created bonds that helped advance trade relations. As a result of these "many tender ties," there emerged a unique society derived from both Indian and European culture.