Thursday, 21 January 2016

Let's Go Back in Time

What was life like in Canada long ago? Where did people get their food when there was no Costco or Superstore? Where did people get their clothes before there was the mall? Before Pokemon and Rainbow Loom, what games did the kids play? Today we journeyed back in time and learned about how the Inuit, Plains First Nations, and Woodlands people used nature to survive.


The Inuit lived in northern Canada amid the ice and snow. They lived in cozy igloos, made of snow blocks and ice.

We learned how the Inuit hunted the ring seal. Standing with a spear above a hole in the ice, they waited motionless for the ring seal to come for air. Once captured, the Inuit were careful not to waste the fur, bones or meat of the seal.
A ring seal fur and "kamuks", little booties made of seal

The Inuit also hunted caribou. They would use an "ulu" knife to scrape the fur for use. One student had a chance to dress in caribou "kamuks" (boots) and a parka! Notice the glasses? The small slits protect his eyes from the glare of the bright sun off of the snow.

An "ulu" knife, caribou boots, and our very own Inuit boy


The Plains First Nations lived in flat areas, similar to Ardrossan. Their homes were teepees, made of long tree poles and animal skins. The Plains people hunted the bison, an excellent source of food. We were SO fortunate to see and feel a bison fur up close!

The Plains First Nations hunted many animals and used the hides, teeth, feathers, and bone to make various clothing and jewelry. Look at this lucky lady! She is wearing a deer skin, a choker necklace made of bone, beaded moose moccasins, a breast plate worn for battle, and an eagle feather headdress.  

Eagle feathers were earned for acts of bravery or generosity

We also were able to touch a basket made of grass, fans made of feathers, and a tomahawk made of stone. What creative uses for nature!


The Woodlands people lived in Eastern Canada in the forests. Their homes were wigwams, bent trees covered in animal skins. They used the birch trees for many purposes. We saw a replica of a birch bark canoe, little birch baskets, and even a horn to make a moose call! (whew, no moose wound up in our classroom!)

The Woodlands people hunted many different animals and made use of the fur, meat, bones, teeth and more!
L to R: red fox, silver fox, coyote, and a huge timber wolf

After we learned about what Canada's first families lived in, wore, and ate, we tried our hand at some games the children played!

Catch the bone on the stick was tricky!

We all loved guessing who had the fruit seed:

We dropped four sticks and scored points depending on how they landed:

To complete our afternoon, we made little fans, decorated with pictures of nature. 

Today we experienced, in a small way, what life was like in Canada many years ago. We were in awe at how creative, strong, and resourceful our first families were. Thank you to our Strathcona Wilderness Centre presenter and to the helping hands of our three parent volunteers. What a rich opportunity to learn and have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment