HIST 202 – Survey: Canada to 1867
(November 21 2011)
This area is a series of native homelands
The Creation Story of the Assiniboine
Assiniboine natives believed that lake Winnipeg is the center of
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
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
Mud is used to create the earth; the land in which the world will
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.
These are the resource that allows buffalo’s existence
More trees: oak, aspen
Support a wider array of animals
Largest area is Boreal Forest
Most of the space here is boreal forest.
Who are the people who live here?
All have adapted to the planes in their own unique way
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
Areas incidentally that have been occupied for at least 11,000
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
Only really start to change plains culture in the beginning of the
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
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
Archeologists suggest that over 130 crops are grown in this region.
Very important in terms of risk production in case of buffalo being
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.
Important in preserving and sustaining a sense of cultural identity
Practiced during the summer moments when natives gathered in
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
Characteristic rituals/practices: Midewiwin
Medicine societies are extr