The Fur Trader
From Oslo to Oxford House
The Fur Trader is a critical edition of Einar Odd Mortensen Sr.'s personal narrative detailing the years (1925–1928) he spent as a free trader at posts in Pine Bluff and Oxford Lake in Manitoba during the waning days of the fur trade. Mortensen's original narrative has been translated from Norwegian to English, and supplemented with a scholarly introduction, thorough annotations, a bibliography, and a reading guide. This additional material presents the author as a product of Norwegian culture at the time, and guides the reader through a close reading of Mortensen's interpretations of his work and travels, the people he encountered, the Indian Residential School system, and Indigenous participation in the First World War. Mortensen's insights and experiences will be of interest to scholars, students, and enthusiasts of the fur trade and contribute to literary, Indigenous, and Scandinavian studies.
About the Authors
"The Fur Trader recovers and contextualizes a young Norwegian's engaging account of his encounters with the Canadian north during his three years as a fur trader in northern Manitoba in the 1920s." Guðrún Björk Guðsteinsdóttir, University of Iceland
"[In The Fur Trader,] Mortensen's narrative complements the many factual and fictional stories of Norwegians' settlement successes and failures in North America during the mass migration of Scandinavians to the United States and Canada in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Nearly one hundred years later, Dr. Ingrid Urberg and Dr. Daniel Sims have contextualized within the contemporary scholarly landscape the narrative of this European migrant's encounter with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people during his stay in Manitoba... The disciplinary pairing and collaboration of these two scholars of Scandinavian studies and First Nations studies increases the accessibility of the original text for all lifelong learners... [They provide the] necessary tools to unpack and situate Mortensen's narrative in broader discourses of history, literature, environmental studies, Indigenous studies, and Scandinavian studies." Melissa Gjellstad, Prairie History, Spring 2023
" Canadian historians Ingrid Urberg and Daniel Simsnot only capture Mortensen's compelling authorial voice, they also frame the work's scholarly importance. The linear notes also provide a well-spring of scholastic knowledge on a plethora of subjects including the historical application of insect repellents, sled dog husbandry, and the precise geographical locations of the author's adventures. No stone is left unturned in the pursuit of contextualizing Mortensen's experiences for the modern reader." William W. Carroll, Western Historical Quarterly 2023 (Full review at https://doi.org/10.1093/whq/whad091)
Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / Indigenous Studies