To find furs

There were many reasons to explore the territory in the early days of colonization, but the most important reason was to find furs. This was what motivated an explorer and coureur de bois like Jean Nicollet, who arrived in the colony in 1618.

To protect the fur trade between Indigenous peoples and the French, Jean Nicollet was sent to visit different Indigenous Nations. He lived with Indigenous peoples, learning their languages and exploring the territory like no Frenchman ever had before. The coureurs de bois would later become valuable explorers for the new colony.

Other explorers such as Hudson, Radisson and Des Groseilliers also travelled the continent searching for furs and other riches.

To find a route to Asia or to evangelize

The French were motivated to explore for other reasons, too. Some, like Champlain, sought a route to the riches of Asia. Others, like the Jesuits, had a missionary ideal and wanted to evangelize or convert Indigenous peoples to Catholicism. In 1645, however, the great explorations were yet to come.

Watch also a video narration in French at

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social. Adaptions by LEARN.

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