History 2201E Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Allday, Kewatinook

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5 Dec 2014
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Canadian History 09/11/2013
History vs. the Past
Infinitely smaller and simpler than the past
Written by others  may not be what actually happened
History is always subject to negotiation
Unlike in the rest of the world, in America there is no record of indigenous ancestors going back thousands
of generations
The straight between north American and Asia was dry  the Beringia (land bridge)
When the ice starts to melt, lakes begin to form  Lake Agisee
At the end of the ice age, paleo-indians and animals begin to walk across Beringia from Asia
They moved down along the pacific ocean, because the ice melted there earlier
After the ice age, all larger animals die off
Over hunting from the humans the arrived on the scene
Climate change
There were giant fucking beavers
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Natives and Newcomers 09/11/2013
Linguistically and culturally distinct form one another become the groups known today as the First Nations
Largely determined by what they could eat  that itself determined by the surrounding area
Hunter gatherer groups have to be small and mobile (periodically meeting with other groups)
Because having too big of a group would deplete the food supply
These meetings were used for alliances, marriages, trades, etc.
In many parts of the globe agriculture began to replace hunter gatherer, but not in the Americas
It took thousands of years for this change to take place
Two important reasons for this
There are few domesticated animals to help with the agriculture  unlike in Europe
There are not many domesticated crops that are easy to improve the first one to get agriculture going was
maize and took thousands of years to develop that properly
This slow growth of agriculture in the Americas left them with less of a need to feed larger populations
Without greater population pressures, there was less (slower) technological advances/changes
These groups tended to be egalitarian
They tended not to be patriarchal
They traced their ancestry through the women
The occupations were usually sex-specific
Men hunted larger animals while women smaller ones
But no sense that one gender’s job was more important than the other
The sense of community was stronger than that of individual rights
Ideas of sharing and redistribution of goods
Child rearing was communal and more permissive than what was going on in Europe
Pre-marital sex was not frowned upon, neither was homosexuality
There were about 500,000 in the Canadian region
The population was much smaller than that in South America
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Natives and Newcomers 09/11/2013
CLASSIFYING FIRST NATIONS
We do this because they all have different features
With so many different nations at this time in Canada, we need to classify
The three main ways to classify First Nations
Linguistic terms
This may group some groups together are have nothing else in common other than a linguistic base
There are about 50 distinct languages
Cultural terms
Separates neatly into geographical areas
Leaves a nice 6 manageable groups for Canada
Northwest Coast
Plateau
Plains
Northeast (Eastern woodlands)
Subarctic
Arctic
National/political terms
There’s simply too many of them and they moved from nation to nation often
Northwest Coastal First Nations
Usually considered the most “complex” First Nation societies in Canada
The only non-agricultural society in the world able to support permanent year-long diligence
By far the largest population in Canada pre-contact
This was because there was an abundant food supply (fishing all year long)
This allowed for wealth and rich material culture
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