The Fur Trader

From Oslo to Oxford House

By Einar Odd Mortensen Sr.
With Gerd Kjustad Mortensen
Edited by Ingrid Urberg & Daniel Sims
Categories: Indigenous Studies, Literature & Language Studies, Literary Criticism, History, Canadian History
Publisher: The University of Alberta Press
Paperback : 9781772125986, 224 pages, August 2022
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781772126143, 224 pages, September 2022
Ebook (PDF) : 9781772126150, 224 pages, September 2022

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ix
Introduction xi
Ingrid Urberg & Daniel Sims
Map xli

1 | North of the 53rd Parallel 1
2 | Alone at the Trading Post 17
3 | From Camp to Church 27
4 | From Greenhorn to Old-Timer 47
5 | Sons of the Wilderness 57
6 | Hudson’s Bay versus Free Trader 89
7 | Towards New Hunting Grounds 97
8 | Days at Oxford Lake 113
Epilogue 127

A Personal Perspective on the Author and the Book
Gerd Kjustad Mortensen
Reading Guide and Discussion Questions 137
Notes 141
Bibliography 167


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.