Canada Ethnography

By | December 25, 2021

With the exception of the Eskimos of the northern coasts, except for the peoples already mentioned in the north-west of America, the isolated Kutenai, the Iroquois, who advance to the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, and the Assiniboin, the Dakota tribe, who have moved relatively recently on the territory of Canada, all the natives of Canada belong to two great families: Athabaska and Algonquin. The isolated and little known Beothuk tribe of Newfoundland became extinct as early as 1820. The Athabasca inhabit the Yukon and Mackenzie basins and are divided into three groups. The Alaskan tribes belong to the first group (v.). The second group includes the tribes that inhabit the plateau between the Coastal Range and the Rocky Mountains: Nahane (with Tahltan), Sekani (at the source of the River of Peace), Takulli (Carriers), at the source of the Fraser River, Chilcotin (on the river of the same name). The populations of the third group live east of the Rocky Mountains: Hares (so called for their clothes made of hare skins) to the East. of the lower Mackenzie and to the North. of the Great Bear Lake; Dogribs (between the Great Lake of the Bears and the Great Lake of the Slaves); Yellow Knives (“yellow knives”, so called for the copper knives they use), to S. of the latter; Slaves, in the territory of the Liard river up to the Great Lake of the Slaves; Beavers, in the territory of the River of Peace; Sarcee, at the source of the Athabaska River, and in the northern part of Saskatchewan; Chipewayan, between Lake Athabaska and the Churchill River and up to Hudson Bay, not to be confused with the Chippewa-Ogibways on Lake Superior (see map of ethnographic America,america).¬†For Canada 2014, please check thesciencetutor.org.

The remainder of Canada is occupied by the tribes of the Algonquins, in whose territory the Iroquois who settled on the St. Lawrence River were wedged. To the NE group. the Montagnais-Naskapee (the former from the St. Lawrence River to the Hudson Bay watershed, the latter in the interior of Labrador) and the Abnaki, Penobscot, and Micmac (in Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and in a part of Terranova). The northern group, to which the Ogibways and Algonquins proper belong, inhabits the N. of the S. Lorenzo river and the great lakes. The former include in turn: the Cree-Maskegons (on lower Saskatchewan, and on Nelson, up to the Albany River), the Ottawa (Michigan peninsula and St. George’s Bay) and the Ogibways in the proper sense, around Lake Superior and west to lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba. The latter include: the Nipissing (at Lake Nipissing), the Temiscaming (at Lake Temiscaming) and the original Algonquin tribe on the Ottawa River. The Blackfeet belong to the western group, most of whom live in Canada.

Not considering certain influences that, especially in the peripheral territories, have changed the old order of these tribes, the whole territory can be divided into two great cultural regions: to the first, the region of gatherers and hunters, all the Athabaska belong (including the Sarcee), the Cree and all the tribes of the Algonquians proper; the Ottawa, Ogibway and Abnaki-Micmac belong to the second, the region of the eastern woodland.

When the Algonquians, whose ancestors were once established near the territories occupied by the Athabaska, reached the territory of the Great Lakes in various migrations and from there they went on the Atlantic coast, from Newfoundland to the Hudson River, they began to feel the influence of the agricultural culture of this region, especially with the migration towards the north of the Iroquois; this influence is manifested especially among the Abnaki-Micmacs and the Ottawas. The Abnaki cultivated corn, fertilizing the field with fish; the Micmacs stopped cultivating the fields only when they found it easier to get corn by buying it from the French. In 1616 Champlain found corn growing with the Ottawa, as well as with their neighbors, the Hurons. Palisade villages of the Hurons were also found among the Abnaki. Above all, the customs of skinning, torturing prisoners of war, combined with scenes of cannibalism, according to the opinion widespread among all Indians, were originally the customs of the Iroquois, which later spread to their neighbors. Even for religion and mythology the Algonquians would have been imitators in many things. Instead, the attempt to explain certain cultural acquisitions of the Micmacs and their neighbors with the relations they would have had with the Normans was not very happy. Already Leland tried to find the figures of Germanic mythology from the Micmacs and their neighbors, but this attempt, like many others, had a negative outcome. combined with scenes of cannibalism, according to the opinion widespread among all Indians, were originally the customs of the Iroquois, which later spread to their neighbors. Even for religion and mythology the Algonquians would have been imitators in many things. Instead, the attempt to explain certain cultural acquisitions of the Micmacs and their neighbors with the relations they would have had with the Normans was not very happy. Already Leland tried to find the figures of Germanic mythology from the Micmacs and their neighbors, but this attempt, like many others, had a negative outcome. combined with scenes of cannibalism, according to the opinion widespread among all Indians, were originally the customs of the Iroquois, which later spread to their neighbors. Even for religion and mythology the Algonquians would have been imitators in many things. Instead, the attempt to explain certain cultural acquisitions of the Micmacs and their neighbors with the relations they would have had with the Normans was not very happy. Already Leland tried to find the figures of Germanic mythology from the Micmacs and their neighbors, but this attempt, like many others, had a negative outcome. Even for religion and mythology the Algonquians would have been imitators in many things. Instead, the attempt to explain certain cultural acquisitions of the Micmacs and their neighbors with the relations they would have had with the Normans was not very happy. Already Leland tried to find the figures of Germanic mythology from the Micmacs and their neighbors, but this attempt, like many others, had a negative outcome. Even for religion and mythology the Algonquians would have been imitators in many things. Instead, the attempt to explain certain cultural acquisitions of the Micmacs and their neighbors with the relations they would have had with the Normans was not very happy. Already Leland tried to find the figures of Germanic mythology from the Micmacs and their neighbors, but this attempt, like many others, had a negative outcome.

Canada Ethnography