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EDEE 280 Lecture Notes - Canadian Shield, Smallpox, Beringia

Elementary Education
Course Code
EDEE 280
Paul Zanazanian

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Class 5: First Nations: Geography, Traditions, Lifestyles
Searching to Understand
2 theories of migration
o via Beringia over a land bridge
2 km wide connecting NA & Asia
migrated from Asia (Siberia) down into the south
o via the sea leap-frogging down the Pacific coast
population numbers
o estimates vary
scholars believe the pre-European contact numbers vary between 500 000 2
Europeans brought diseases like small pox which killed many Aboriginals 98%
2 distinct categorizations
o linguistic
8-11 language units of First Nations
each one is diverse
o cultural
revolves around geography of FN
Focus on Quebec
The Algonquians
o seminomadic
o Canadian Shield
o lived in Wig Wams
o had technology to support life (tools)
The Iroquoians
o sedentary
o southern parts of Canadian Shield & St. Lawrence region down into New York state
o confederacies tribes would get together to form confederacies
First Nations’ Realities in Canada
Indian Act of 1876
o start of colonial policy that persists till this day
o initial intent of converting FN to Christianity
o status vs. non-status Indians
o government wanted to take over land
o if FN wanted regular rights, would have to leave reserve & adopt new lifestyle
Residential Schools
o attempted assimilation of FN
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