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HIST 202 – Northwestern Plains.docx

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HIST 202
Catherine Desbarats

HIST 202 – Survey: Canada to 1867 (November 21 2011) Northwestern Plains This area is a series of native homelands The Creation Story of the Assiniboine  Assiniboine natives believed that lake Winnipeg is the center of their world  Creates everything, as well as people  Creates 7 men and 7 women  Ik-Tomi ends them onto a great body of water on oyster shells  Sends birds under the water to look for some earth for which they can settle  Birds come up short with no mud on their claws, and so some fur animals are sent down. They come up dead but with mud on their feet.  Mud is used to create the earth; the land in which the world will survive  Lake Winnipeg is the center of their universe; sacred waters in which everything begins  A reminder that we can have creation stories for all native groups in the area.  Natives think of this as the place where humanity springs  Everything happens in units of 7 in this story. Grasslands  These are the resource that allows buffalo’s existence Aspen Parkland  More trees: oak, aspen  Support a wider array of animals Largest area is Boreal Forest  Boreal landscape  Most of the space here is boreal forest. Who are the people who live here?  The Assiniboine  The Cree  The Blackfoot o Peigan o Siskika o Crow  All have adapted to the planes in their own unique way  Linguistics o Assiniboine speak Suin language, Connected to the Dakota  Their lifestyles are characterized by flexibility and mobility  Climat can change quite rapidly, temperature and moisture changes, Buffalo migration varies.  Not a bad thing to adapt Buffalo Hunt  Extremely important  Areas incidentally that have been occupied for at least 11,000 years  Archeological evidence of human presence.  In its original form doesn’t include horses until the 1730s  Coming north, coming from the Spanish, but via people like the Shoshoni  Only really start to change plains culture in the beginning of the 19 century.  Buffalo hunt is done mostly on foot, with lots of planning and learning of Buffalo movements.  Channeling the buffalo into a particular direction o Biased of the 19 th century sources describing hunters is that they are wild and unsettled people who are randomly culling from nature. This is not the case. o Very strategical  not by any means the only source of calories for people in the region Women’s work is particularly important  women as gatherers of various plans o Saskatoon berries o Local turnips  Agriculture is a part of this economy to a much greater extent than we realize.  Archeologists suggest that over 130 crops are grown in this region.  Very important in terms of risk production in case of buffalo being sparse  Agriculture in the region includes indigenous tobacco crops  Agriculture incidentally moves north from Minnesota and reaches the area in 900 AD  Archeological sights testify to agricultural presences that show signs of corn, tools, hoses, etc. Sundance Ritual  Important in preserving and sustaining a sense of cultural identity  Practiced during the summer moments when natives gathered in plains camps  Ritual connected with blessing the assembled people  A ritual that has a great significance for women. Seen as the enactment of a wish of an important female religious figure. **  This is one of the rituals that is actually criminalized later in the 1880s. Seen as one of the symbols of native backwardness. People living north in the Boreal forest region  Taking about the Ojibway and Western Cree  The Cree themselves (Swampy Cree, Woodsy Cree and Rocky Cree)  Mobile hunters and gatherers  Don’t congregate in as large groups as the plains people do  Hunt typically smaller fur-bearing animals (beaver, muskrat, moose and caribou) Characteristic rituals/practices: Midewiwin  Medicine societies are extr
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