GG354 Lecture Notes - Clovis, New Mexico, Woolly Mammoth, Northern Ontario

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
School
WLU
Department
Geography
Course
GG354
GG354 Lesson notes
Lesson 5 - Social History and Cultural Background
Early Settlement:
Arrival Routes and Timing
- Ice-Free Corridor: Theory that explains the path by which the first Americans took to
reach the mid-latitudes of North America between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice
sheets. Excavation revealed finely crafted thin, leaf-shaped stone projectile points
imbedded in the bones of large bison.
- Coastal Migration Route:
Clovis Theory: some 12,000 years ago, Old World hunters from Alaska and Yukon found an ice-
free corridor through the vast ice sheet to the unglaciated areas of the New World. Armed with
spears that had a distinctive fluted projectile point, these Paleo-Indians quickly spread across
North and South America. Archaeological evidence clearly demonstrates that Paleo-Indians
were hunting the woolly mammoth and other big-game animals in the Great Plains and the
Southwest of what is today the United States as early as 11,000 years ago. At the same time,
primitive hunters had reached the southern tip of South America. The empirical support for the
Clovis theory is based on archaeological finds of flaked-stone projectile points. These distinctive
spear points were first unearthed in 1932 at a New Mexico mammoth kill site near Clovis, New
Mexico. Since then, similar finds dated to the same early period have been made in other parts
of North America. However, more recent arch findings, especially the Monte Verde site in Chile,
which apparently dates to 12, 500 years ago, suggest that Old World hunters reached South
America well before the Clovis people.
Early Cultures:
Time
Period
Location
Social System
Resource
Dependence
Reasons for
Change
Paleo-
Indians
Pre-
Dorset
11,000
6000
years ago
Southwest
US to ice-free
corridor
between the
Cordillera
Woolly
mammoth,
sea-based
hunting
economy
Dorset -
Tuuniit
5000
1000
years ago
Western
Arctic,
Nunavut, &
coasts of
Greenland &
Labrador
Maritime
hunting of sea
mammals
Displaced
by Thule
due to
major
climatic
changes
Thule
1000
years ago
Northern
coast of
Alaska,
-constructed winter camp
dwellings from blocks of snow
and ice, providing shelter for
one, two, or perhaps three
Maritime
hunting of sea
mammals
Arctic
regions
were
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eastwards
across
Canadian
Arctic and
Greenland
extended families. A central
fire and animal hides insulated
the dwelling against the harsh
cold winter. Summer coastal
camp dwellings were
constructed from whalebone
and wood, which was covered
with whale baleen and sod. As
the hunting technology
developed, the amount of
food gathered increased. The
seasonal occupation sites
became larger and more
permanent. Overland
transportation between
seasonal camps utilised sleds
constructed from animal
bones and hides.
Domesticated dogs were
harnessed to the sled and
pulled up to sixty-six kilograms
of supplies.
whaling (large
bowhead
whale)
abandoned
and
whaling
was given
up
Three main native groups occupying northern lands at the time of European contact:
- Inuit or Thule (Arctic Canada)
- Athapaskan (Northern plains/ Yukon territory)
- Algonquin (W,S, E of lower Hudson Bay)
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Lesson 6 Population Patterns
Main geographical and environmental limitations that will control population size in the North:
1. A short growing season prohibits commercial agriculture
2. The frozen Arctic Ocean cannot serve as a main transportation artery
3. The cold environment makes the cost of construction and the operation of businesses
much high in the North, but especially in the Arctic, than in more temperate areas of
Canada
4. The great distance to markets means that its export-oriented resource industry has very
high transport costs. Similarly, the cost of importing building materials, food-stuffs, and
diesel fuel for community power and heating is extremely expensive and greatly
increases cost of living
Four phases in population change:
- Phase 1 (1871-1941): in 1871, population of the North was approx. 60,000. Over the
next 20 years, the settlement of the southern fringe of the Subarctic by non-Aboriginal
Canadians plus the slow but steady increase in the Aboriginal population accounted for
population growth. By 1901 the North’s population had reached 100,000, and by 1931 it
had more than doubled to 250,000.
- Phase 2 (1941-1981): during this period the population in Canada’s North jumped from
350,000 to nearly 1.5 million. Four main factors accounting for the enormous increase
were: 1) a resource boom that began in the late 1940s and triggered a massive in-
migration of southern Canadians and the creation of new resource towns, 2) a high rate
of natural increase among the Aboriginal population that saw it more than triple, 3) a
policy change in Ottawa that began in 1957 with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s
‘Northern Vision’ promoting development in the North, and 4) increased public
spending by both the provinces and Ottawa that led to a northern bureaucracy and
facilitated the relocation of government officials to the North through a series of
northern benefits.
- Phase 3 (1981-2006): the North’s population remained relatively stable at just under 1.5
million. Since the 1980s, annual out-migration has sometimes exceeded in-migration. In
1981 the North had a population of 1.47 million. 25 years later, that figure was
unchanged. The reasons for this demographic reversal from the fast-growth phase prior
to the 1980s are complex, but they are related to a net out-migration and a high rate of
natural increase of Aboriginal peoples.
- Phase 4 (2006-2011): could continue into near future with changes in two demographic
factors a falling rate of natural increase among Aboriginal population and a decrease
in net migration could lead to a slow but steady downward slide in the North’s
population size. The collapse of the forest industry was and remains a primary economic
reason for the population decline in the Provincial North (as well as failure of new
resource projects and slowdown of older mining operations). There are also extremely
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Document Summary

Lesson 5 - social history and cultural background. Ice-free corridor: theory that explains the path by which the first americans took to reach the mid-latitudes of north america between the laurentide and cordilleran ice sheets. Excavation revealed finely crafted thin, leaf-shaped stone projectile points imbedded in the bones of large bison. Clovis theory: some 12,000 years ago, old world hunters from alaska and yukon found an ice- free corridor through the vast ice sheet to the unglaciated areas of the new world. Armed with spears that had a distinctive fluted projectile point, these paleo-indians quickly spread across. Archaeological evidence clearly demonstrates that paleo-indians were hunting the woolly mammoth and other big-game animals in the great plains and the. Southwest of what is today the united states as early as 11,000 years ago. At the same time, primitive hunters had reached the southern tip of south america. Clovis theory is based on archaeological finds of flaked-stone projectile points.

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