The fur trade played an important role in determining the nature of the European-Native American relations. It acted as the framework for a developing world system, in which the European powers eventually formed multiple cores where a few Native American groups formed the semi-periphery and drew many more Native American groups into peripheral positions. To fit into this world system, the Native American groups restructured their lives in a variety of ways that can be seen archaeologically and historically. This is not to say that the Native Americans lacked agency within a deterministic system. To the contrary, the changes made to compete within the world system were often adaptations or intensifications of preexisting Native American practices in ways that would benefit them, at least in the short term.
Edwards, Richard Wynn IV
"The North American Fur Trade World System,"
Field Notes: A Journal of Collegiate Anthropology: Vol. 1
, Article 4.
Available at: https://dc.uwm.edu/fieldnotes/vol1/iss1/4