About the Voyageurs

Frequently Asked Questions


Who were the voyageurs?

Voyageurs, which means travelers, were French-Canadian canoemen who were employed by fur trading companies to trade goods for furs with the Indians. These men helped to open up this part of the country in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. LSIA sells a variety of books about the voyageurs.

How many miles a day did the voyageurs paddle?

The voyageurs averaged 59 miles a day (95 km/day). They could paddle up to 78 miles a day (125 km/day). They paddled up to 18 hours a day.

How many voyageurs fit in the canoe?

North Canoe – 8
Bastard Canoe – 10
Montreal Canoe – 14

What did the voyageurs eat?

They ate native foods such as berries, nuts and wild rice. They traded goods for wild rice, fish, and dried peas. The also ate pemmican, which is dried buffalo.