July 25, 2014
Americans have always looked towards Canada with fear and mistrust. But all that worry really just hides our own national insecurity. If Canada is America’s funny hat, what does it say about us? Why would we, as a nation, wear such a hat? Is America hiding a bald spot? Is it a hipster?
Fear not, Americans, the good ol’ US of A still has a full head of hair. It turns out that Canada is more than just a geographic chapeau; it has a rich history all its own, one that many of us who live under the Canadian brim are not aware of.
Being so far north, Canada has more than its share of hardships: Ice, snow, even many people who speak French. And worst of all, despite being so far north, Santa Claus shows it no special treatment and usually delivers Canadian presents last, on his way back to the North Pole.
But what do we learn about Canada in school? Fur trading. Canada has a lot of fur traders. At least it did back when the text books took place.
First, Americans traded with the Native American Indian* trappers.
Then, they traded with French fur traders.
December 10, 1984: New York Mets traded Hubie Brooks to the Montreal Expos for Gary Carter.
*Notice they don’t call them “Native Canadian Indians.”
Why was there so much trapping in Canada? Beavers. There were so many beaver dams in Canada that in 1833, official records show that a full 63% of Canada was underwater.
FUN FACT: The Montreal Expos were named after the expo, a small burrowing mammal hunted to extinction by French fur traders.