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Aboriginal Cultural Groups. Pre-Contact. There are six main cultural groups in Canada: 1) Arctic 2) Sub Arctic 3) Northwest Coast 4) Plateau 5) Plains 6) Eastern Woodlands. Aboriginal Culture Groups. Arctic.

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aboriginal culture groups
There are six main cultural groups in Canada:

1) Arctic

2) Sub Arctic

3) Northwest Coast

4) Plateau

5) Plains

6) Eastern Woodlands

Aboriginal Culture Groups
  • Early inhabitation dating back 20,000 years, may have crossed on the Bering Land Bridge.
  • Long daylight hours, moderate temperatures in summer. Long, cold winters often spent in near total darkness.
  • Total absence of trees, some low stubby plants and berries, mostly dry, barren areas with rocky outcrops.

Picture: http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/northamerica/after1500/history/inuit.htm

Inhabited by Inuit peoples (descendants of Thule culture 1000CE).
  • Eskimo Aleut (Inuktitut) language group.
  • Organized in regional bands consisting of 500-1,000.
  • Marriage was nearly universal and occurred in early adulthood.
  • Economy based on sea-mammal hunting – particular seal.
  • Technology includes bone, horn, antler, ivory, stone, animal skins, baleen for basketry.
  • Inuit inventions considered “technological masterpieces” given available materials.
  • Significant ceremonies beginning at birth (naming, betrothal, marriage) as well as rights of passage (demonstrations of skill such as sewing or hunting) celebrated at summer gatherings.

Picture: ewesfn.weebly.com

Picture: ageandanniesramblings.co.uk

Picture: firstpeoplesofcanada.com

Picture: northwestpassage2011.blogspot.com

sub arctic
Sub Arctic
  • Area is 5 million km2, ¾ of which is on the Canadian Shield.
  • Extremes of temperature: -40C in winter to +30C in summer.
  • Dene, Carrier and Cree peoples as well as Inland Tlingit.
  • Algonquin (East) and Athapaskan (West) language groups

Picture: canadiangeographic.ca

sub arctic1
Most sparsely populated region of Canada, estimates as low as 60,000 across the entire region
  • No formal chief system prior to European contact
  • Kinship ties differed over the region
  • Few material possessions due to need to follow food supply
  • Myths & legends centred on animals that could take human form
Sub Arctic
sub arctic2
Picture: ecokids.caSub Arctic

Picture: firstpeoplesofcanada.com

Picture: firstpeoplesofcanada.com

northwest coast
Northwest Coast
  • Continuously inhabited for 10,000+ years.
  • Narrow section of coastal land stretching from Northern Washington to Northern BC and into Alaska.
  • Moderate temperatures allowed for fishing & hunting all year.
  • Home to Haida, Tsimshian, Nuu-chahnulth, Tlingit, and Salishan peoples.
  • As many at 70 distinct nations inhabit the region.

Picture: turtleisla.org

northwest coast1
Northwest Coast
  • Food was varied and abundant allowing for large, permanent settlements.
  • Towering red cedars yielded rot-resistant beams and framing for their fine homes, logs for their 22-metre-long canoes, and rain-resistant bark for clothing and blankets.
  • Renowned carvers of totems, masks, bowls, and helmets, they revered shamans for their links to the spirit world.
  • The potlatch, a communal ritual of feasting, storytelling, dancing, and gift-giving, was all important.
northwest coast2
Northwest Coast

Picture: firstpeoplesofcanada.com

Picture: firstpeoplesofcanada.com

Picture: news.pcc.edu

Arrived in the plateau country from the south some 10,000 years ago, as the glaciers retreated northwards.
  • Inhabit a very small region in the Southern Interior of BC and Alberta.
  • They had great diversity of dress, religious beliefs, and language
  • Three main language groups: Athapaskan, Salishian and Ktunaxa.
  • Fishing and foraging were mainstays of bands living in this region.
Most wintered in semi-underground dwellings they entered through the roof; in summer they built bulrush-covered wooden lodges.
  • The Columbia and Fraser rivers were their travel and trade routes and source of fish. Other foods were berries, wild vegetables and game.
  • Fashioned canoes from the area’s pine and cottonwood, and traded copper, jadeite, and herbs to the coast Indians for otter pelts, oolichan oil and decorative baskets.

Picture: wellpinit.wednet.edu


All Pictures: firstpeoplesofcanada.com

  • Region stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the woodlands of Southern Manitoba in Canada, but as far south as Mississippiin the US.
  • Encompasses the nomadic Blackfoot, Saulteaux, Gros Ventre, Sioux and Plains Cree.
  • Athapascan, Algonquin and Siouan speakers.
  • Hollywood “Indians”

Picture: en.wikipedia.org

Buffalo culture: other than water and poles for their tipis, the buffalo met all their needs.
  • Its meat was eaten at every meal.
  • Hooves were boiled into glue; sinew became thread; stomachs served as pots; horns and bones were fashioned into tools and utensils; ribs became sled runners; hides made tipi covers, clothing, moccasins, and sleeping robes; buffalo hair made comfy cradle boards.
  • Buffalo were hunted by herding them into enclosures or over cliffs until arrival of horses in the early 1700s.
  • The Plains women played important roles in religious rituals.

Picture: britannica.com

Pictures: firstpeoplesofcanada.comPlains

Pictures: firstpeoplesofcanada.com

eastern woodlands
Part of a larger region stretching from the Maritimes along the St. Lawrence basin and to Illinois and South Carolina in the South and East.
  • Two unrelated language groups – Algonquin and Iroquoian.
  • Algonquian occupied land from Lake Superior to the Atlantic.
  • The lived in villages

south of the Great Lakes

and the St. Lawrence.

Eastern Woodlands

Picture: uppercanadahistory.ca

eastern woodlands1
Eastern Woodlands
  • Iroquoian speakers:
    • Warring tradition.
    • Men hunted and fished
    • Women cultivated beans, maize, squash, and tobacco.
    • When the soil was depleted in one place, they moved to new sites.
  • Algonquian speakers:
    • Lives were governed by the seasons
    • Hunting in fall and winter; harvesting roots and berries in summer.
  • Shamanistic societies in both.
eastern woodlands2
Eastern Woodlands

Pictures: colonialwilliamsburg.photoshelter.com

Pictures: firstpeoplesofcanada.com