What kinds of property rights apply to Algonquian family hunting territories, and how did they come to be? The dominant view in recent decades has been that family hunting territories, like other forms of private landownership, were not found among Algonquians (a group of North American Indian tribes) before contact with Europeans but are the result of changes in Algonquian society brought about by the European-Algonquian fur trade, in combination with other factors such as ecological changes and consequent shifts in wildlife harvesting patterns. Another view claims that Algonquian family hunting territories predate contact with Europeans and are forms of private landownership by individuals and families. More recent fieldwork, however, has shown that individual and family rights to hunting territories form part of a larger land-use system of multifamilial hunting groups, that rights to hunting territories at this larger community level take precedence over those at the individual or family level, and that this system reflects a concept of spiritual and social reciprocity that conflicts with European concepts of private property. In short, there are now strong reasons to think that it was erroneous to claim that Algonquian family hunting territories ever were, or were becoming, a kind of private property system.