The climate and resources of the territory had a great influence on the lifestyles of the First Nations, whether they were semi-sedentary or semi-nomadic.

The Algonquians

In eastern Canada there were many Algonquian nations. They mainly occupied the Canadian Shield and the Appalachian region. We often associate the term nomad with groups that move around with no established territory, but this was not the case for the Algonquians. Each Algonquian nation travelled within its own territory in order to take advantage of the resources available according to the season. Since the soil and climate of the Canadian Shield and the Appalachians were not suited to horticulture, the Algonquians met their needs by hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering wild fruit.

The Iroquoians

For their part, the Iroquoians occupied territories where it was possible to grow the Three Sisters (corn, squash and beans). In eastern Canada, they could be found along the Great Lakes in Ontario, and in the Saint Lawrence Valley. Because they only moved their villages every fifteen years or so, we refer to them as being semi-sedentary.
The climate and resources of the territory had a great influence on the lifestyles of the First Nations, whether they were semi-sedentary or semi-nomadic.

The Algonquians

In eastern Canada there were many Algonquian nations. They mainly occupied the Canadian Shield and the Appalachian region. We often associate the term nomad with groups that move around with no established territory, but this was not the case for the Algonquians. Each Algonquian nation travelled within its own territory in order to take advantage of the resources available according to the season. Since the soil and climate of the Canadian Shield and the Appalachians were not suited to horticulture, the Algonquians met their needs by hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering wild fruit.

The Iroquoians

For their part, the Iroquoians occupied territories where it was possible to grow the Three Sisters (corn, squash and beans). In eastern Canada, they could be found along the Great Lakes in Ontario, and in the Saint Lawrence Valley. Because they only moved their villages every fifteen years or so, we refer to them as being semi-sedentary.

© 2011, Musée huron-wendat. All Rights Reserved.

corn on a black background

Corn had an important place in the lives of the Iroquoians. It provided a large part of their food supply and the various parts of the plant were used to make everyday items. They produced a large surplus which they exchanged with the Algonquians.

Musée huron-wendat
17th Century
© 2011, Musée huron-wendat. All Rights Reserved.


Pottery on a black background

Earthenware pottery was common in Iroquoian villages. It was mainly used for cooking food and storage.

Musée huron-wendat
17th Century
© 2011, Musée huron-wendat. All Rights Reserved.


Reproduction of strips of smoked meat on white background

To preserve meat for as long as possible, it was smoked or dried. It could then be eaten later or traded.

Musée huron-wendat
17th Century
© 2011, Musée huron-wendat. All Rights Reserved.


Basket of birch bark on a black background

The birch bark baskets made by the Algonquians were light and easy to make. Sonce they took such little time to make they were often left behind when their owners changed campsites.

Musée huron-wendat
17th Century
© 2011, Musée huron-wendat. All Rights Reserved.


Illustration of a canoe trip

Above all, a trading expedition meant walking, paddling and making portages. The distances they travelled show just how important trade was for the First Nations.

Musée huron-wendat
17th Century
© 2011, Musée huron-wendat. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

For all 5 modules, the objectives are linked with competencies in history for Elementary Cycle One.

Trading Ideas is aligned with the competencies set by the Ministère de l’éducation du Québec in the Québec Education Program for the Social Sciences subject area which deals with geography, history and citizenship education.

The first and second competencies are to understand the organization of a society in its territory and to interpret change in a society and its territory. In line with these competencies, children will be able to situate the society and its territory in space and time, make connections between characteristics of the society and the organization of its territory, recognize the main changes in the organization of a society and its territory, and identify the causes and consequences of the changes.

Trading Ideas is mainly inspired by the third competency to be open to the diversity of societies and their territories.

Also, as part of this competency, the participants will be able to identify the main similarities and differences of societies and territories, identify the causes and consequences of these differences and finally situate the societies and their territories in space and in time.

This collection will make it possible to meet the following pedagogical objectives:
• Understand the organization of a society in its territory
• Interpret change in a society and its territory
• Be open to the diversity of societies and their territories
• Construct consciousness of global citizenship.

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