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The French Voyageur and Minnesota’s Fur Trade

November 19 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


The Zumbrota Public Library and Goodhue County Historical Society are privileged to present a special lyceum entitled The French Voyageur and Minnesota’s Fur Trade. The presenter is Mr. Arn Kind, a teacher of 40 years, who will come in regalia of a French Voyageur, and teach us about Minnesota’s first business: the Fur Trade. The French Voyageurs were among the first Europeans to explore and make maps of what would become Minnesota.

Mr. Kind uses hands-on living history experiences where audience members will role-play the parts of voyageurs and/or proud Dakota or Ojibwa Native Americans. We will learn how these early Europeans paddled heavy, cargo-laden canoes through the vast interior of North America. We will also learn how the French and the Native Americans bartered with one another. The French wanted furs to be made into fashionable hats and clothes, meanwhile the Dakota and Ojibwa wanted French trade goods. These trade goods made life easier for the Native Americans, and were a mixture of cloth, beads, trinkets, mirrors, traps, knives, tomahawks, and trade rifles.

One of the reasons Mr. Kind’s presentations really makes the Fur Trade come alive for his audiences is because of his realistic and colorful portrayal of a voyageur and, his robust collection of artifacts and trade goods he displays for his audience to see. Don’t worry, everything he brings along is safe. Traps, knives, and tools are dulled and, Mr. Kind does not bring any gunpowder or other combustibles into libraries.

This program is in conjunction with the temporary exhibit, Fur Trade in Minnesota, on view at the Goodhue County History Center from October 6, 2018 through January 6, 2019. This project was funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


November 19
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Zumbrota Public Library
100 West Ave.
Zumbrota, MN 55992 United States
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(507) 732-5211