Saint Croix Island International Historic Site

Where Two Worlds Meet

The Passamaquoddy, Maliseet and Mi'kmaq hunters and traders provided a commercial lifeline for Sieur de Mons' colony. Their first-hand knowledge of the territory allowed these entrepreneurs to control the supply of furs. Through their earlier dealings with French traders, the Passamaquoddy, Maliseet and Mi'kmaq were familiar with the usefulness of European trade goods. To continue this exchange of furs for European items, they formed trade alliances with Sieur de Mons.

Objects that the Europeans used in order to trade with the First Nations people
Objects that the Europeans used in order to trade with the First Nations people
© Parks Canada & National Film Board of Canada / Susan Tooke

The anticipation of huge profits from the fur trade motivated people to participate in Sieur de Mons' expedition. In Europe, the popularity of beaver felt hats made beaver pelts a highly valued commodity. In 1603, Sieur de Mons received from Henry IV a ten-year exclusive right to the fur trade, and the title of Lieutenant-General of Acadie, a territory between the 40 th and 46 th parallels. In return, Sieur de Mons had to undertake and pay the costs of colonization. In this way, Henry IV was able to realize his vision of overseas colonization.