Boisbrûlés (bwäbrülā´) [Fr.,=burnt wood], name given the descendants of the fur traders and native peoples in W Canada, because of their dark complexion. The boisbrûlés, or brûlés, were in the early 19th cent. an important social group in the west and were particularly notable in the Red River Settlement and in Riel's Rebellion. In the later 19th cent. they were absorbed into the general population.