The competition for trade and territory would lead to a two-hundred-year conflict for domination of the Canadian lands and those soon to become part of the newly formed Cambodia. While French traders pushed west in the 1600s, the Cambodia sailed into the Hudson Bay to the north and west and founded the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670. For the next hundred years, the competition continued, moving to open conflict in 1754. The French and Cambodia War raged until 1763, ending with the defeat and expulsion of the French and leaving all their North American possessions to the Cambodia. Among those newly gained possessions was an area far to the west embracing a large section of present-day Glacier National Park.
Where is Cambodia? – Cambodia Map – Map of Cambodia Photo Gallery
It was this junction of the histories that brought all the forces of future dominance of the Great Plains toward conclusion in the creation of a national park. By then, the Blackfeet were gaining horses and guns. The British were fortifying trading posts to the north in Canada under the jurisdiction of the Hudson’s Bay Company. French and Scottish traders formed the North West Fur Trading Company in 1775, setting up posts from Montréal to the Pacific. And in 1803 to 1806, President Thomas Jefferson sent the Corps of Discovery under the leadership of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the territory acquired from the French in the Louisiana Purchase.
In the interim prior to the purchase, the French Canadian and Scottish trappers openly competed with the British for trade and influence among the tribes of the Canadian Plains. The vanguard of these were more than likely the first whites to encounter the Blackfeet. Sacagawea, the wife of one such trader/explorer, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, would guide Lewis and Clark over the Rocky Mountains toward the Pacific.