Mer de l'Ouest

Mer de l'Ouest ("Western Sea"), originally the goal of exploration during the French regime, was the stuff of wishful thinking obligingly corroborated by Indians. Initially thought to be an inland sea somewhere west of the Great Lakes, it gradually blended in imagination with the Pacific.

Mer de l'Ouest ("Western Sea"), originally the goal of exploration during the French regime, was the stuff of wishful thinking obligingly corroborated by Indians. Initially thought to be an inland sea somewhere west of the Great Lakes, it gradually blended in imagination with the Pacific. The search for the Mer de l'Ouest had a useful function, since the argument that exploration must be financed by the fur trade served ambitious traders well in their efforts to secure monopoly privileges from the royal authorities. The imaginary Mer de l'Ouest finally came to rest in the region around Lake Winnipeg, where, in the middle of the buffer zone marked off by the Cree and Assiniboine around the English at Hudson Bay, La Vérendrye, his sons and their successors established a network of trading posts after 1730.