LATE 1700’s Smallpox, peace & trade

May 12, 2020


A smallpox epidemic spreads across the northern plains.


The Cree and the Beaver smoke a pipe on the banks of a river, thereby ending hostilities between them. Since then, the river has been known as Unjigawah, or the Peace.


Conflict between the Tsááʔ çhé ne dane and Cree continues and culminates in a major battle along the Saaghii Naachii (Beaver River). The Tsááʔ çhé ne dane defeat the Cree decisively and force a “peace agreement” with them at Unchaga (Peace Point) on the Saaghii Naachii. From this point forward the Saaghii Naachii becomes known as WQchiigii (Peace River).


The Northwest Company establishes the first trading post in Dane-zaa territory on the Peace River near Fort Vermilion and Dane-zaa trappers become active in the fur trade. The Dane-zaa economy begins to shift “from a communal hunt for subsistence to one geared towards providing goods to the fur traders”.

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