Hudson Bay Point Blankets: Important Trade Good or Gift of Death?
We might not think that a common, household object like a blanket could have an impact on history, but that has happened with the iconic Hudson’s Bay point blankets. The Hudson’s Bay Company, or HBC, first began producing and selling their point blanket in 1779 in posts around Canada and very quickly, the durable, distinctive wool blankets became popular among the settlers and indigenous tribes of Canada. For the white Europeans, the Hudson’s Bay point blankets represented the fur trade and pioneering settlements of the vast Canadian wilderness. But among the native people of North America, the wool blankets symbolized the evils colonialism and the introduction of deadly diseases.