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012913 Peoples of the North.doc

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Ryerson University
GEO 605
David Atkinson

GEO605 Geography of the Canadian North 012913 Peoples of the North • Traditional lifestyles and way of life • Netsilik Inuit family unit inside show house o To understand the way of life, you had to live it • Specific regions and specific dialects • Aboriginal traditional people who have had contact with Western civilization o Contact was short (less than 100 years) • Traditional images but upgraded to communities with communications and access to technology o Cultural clashes and high prices of food due to transportation costs o Modular style homes that were shipped from the south PEOPLE OF NORTH AMERICA • 15Ka before present (BP) o Beringia land bridge o 10,000 years ago due to glaciations, oceans are receded o Nomadic people hunt and travel and cross over • Inuit were marine, where they traveled at the shallow sea • Most of Canada at the time was covered by ice sheets o traveled along Rocky Mountains and following herds • 11Ka BP o Inuit were last to come across to NA, around the last 5000 years o There is an west/east movement  Continual progression (i.e. Denbigh, Norton, Chorus)  There is not a progression in Alaska, Canada and Greenland PEOPLE OF THE ARCTIC • 4500 to 2800 BP • Arctic Small Tool Tradition (AST) o Did not cross the land bridge o The crossing was shallow and narrow and easily crossed by hunting on the sea ice and water PEOPLING OF THE ARCTIC • Pre-Dorest o Over time people moved west discovering new hunting areas o Used stone lamps, and toggle harpoons  Hunt seal through the breathing hole as seals come up for air  Toggle harpoon could lock onto the seal • Easier to hunt which provides more food for people o Climate starts to cool • Climate is linked to peopling of the arctic o Rate of change climate has an impact on travels o The more open water you have, the easier it is to hunt bigger mammals o When ice cools, it decreases ability to hunt • Dorset 2500bp-1000bp o By 2500bp (500BC-1000AD) culture was distinctly different from pre-Dorset o Successful adaptation to the conditions of this region o Utilized all arctic animals (except whale)  Whales need open space to migrate GEO605 Geography of the Canadian North o Perfected snow houses (igloos) o Climate warmed by 800AD - shortened winter season  First appearance around Dorset o Population appeared to have virtually disappeared by 1000AD • Thule (two-lee) 1000AD-1600AD o Originated from northern Alaska  Developed culture in the west and migrated to the west o Very quickly traveled east to Greenland (50-100 years)  Spread quickly through arctic region  Caused by warmer climate with ice melting quicker and open water • Shift in animal migration where they hunted the bowhead whale • They were larger family groups in order to hunt the large animal • Bowhead whale migrate into arctic because of increase in open water • Followed the bowhead whale into ice free areas o Dogs, sleds, kayaks, and Umiaks (large skin boats carrying 20-30 people) o Climate deterioration following the thirteenth century causing the Thule people to modify their way of life into the way of life current Inuit Groups • Dorset tent ring used rocks to hold down tents o Leaves marker as measures on raised beaches o Site that was furthest from the water is the oldest HUMANS IN THE ARCTIC • Thule people are able to create communities (not nomadic) because they are able to find large food source to feed a lot of people for a long time • Permanent settlements built • Raised sleeping platform because of the warmth (as hot air rises, cold air descends) o Being a little higher makes it warmer • Roof of Thule house created from bones of bowhead whale and then covered with skin • Utilizing water in the pond nearby to changed the nutrient level of the water, thus improving the ecological cycle • Inuit are direct decedents of the Thule o Had to break up in smaller groups because it became colder and the whales no longer migrate to the north o They had to adapt by hunting seals INUIT • Inuit and Eskimo are the names applied to the Arctic-adapted populations o People who live traditional lives in that area • Distinct from all other aboriginal populations of the Americas for a few reasons: 1. Time they migrated across; last people to migrate from Asia to NA and stayed in the north environment • They stayed because they are marine people by following seals and whale populations • Living close to coast line is easier than living south because it’s easier to hunt • Mainland loses seal population; car
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