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Aboriginal Contributions to Canada - Essay Example

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In the era prior to the advent of European explorers,the Canadian landscape was inhabited by aboriginals.They belonged to diverse groups such as the Inuit people who inhabited the Arctic areas, he Central Inuit who mostly occupied the western shore areas…
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Aboriginal Contributions to Canada

rature and warfare.This paper on Aboriginal contributions to Canada discusses the various contributions made by them in the field of transportation. Some of the key contributions of the Aboriginals to Canada in the field of transportation include – birch bark canoes, the Kayak, snowshoes, toboggans, moccasins, and the muklucks. Aboriginal contribution in the field of transportation:The Canadian landscape and climate is diverse and uneven in nature. Most of the regions experienced severe snowfall thus restricting the access to food. Also the agriculturists lived along the river banks, and the only feasible mode of transportation was the river.The wheeled vehicles were largely absent due to lack of animals such as camels or horses,to draw the carriages,the waterways were the only convenient routes of travel for the aboriginals,who used canoes to transport their properties from one place to the other, as well as for trade purposesThe birch bark canoes are considered as one of the greatest contributions from the aboriginal people to Canada. Figure 1: A birch bark canoe Source: http://www.birchbarkcanoe.net/builder.htm The canoes which were made from barks of the birch trees were found in abundance along the banks of the Great Lakes watershed (Johansen, Pritzker, 2007). The barks of this tree were known for being extremely lightweight and smooth and were waterproof and resilient (Sandved et al., 1993). The Algonquians tribes used different modes of transportation depending on the seasons. The birch bark canoes were mostly used during the summer (Rogers, Smith, 1994) while in winter, when the waterways freezed, majority of the travel had to be done via land. Since most of the land during winter was covered in snow, the aboriginals had to invent an alternative means of transport, which resulted in the invention of the snow shoes and toboggans (Jenness, 1932). The aboriginals used various types of snowshoes depending on the condition of snow as well as the quantity of weight being carried while travelling from one place to another. For instance, the Mistassini tribe used beavertail snowshoes, which were primarily used by the men, while travelling through the bush and when the snow was deep. The women on the other hand used the swallowtail snowshoes, which was used during early winter. Apart from these, there were various other styles of snowshoes used by the aboriginals such as the pointed snowshoes, the bear paw and the narrow snowshoes (Sturtevant, 1981). Figure 2: Various types of snowshoes used by the aboriginals Source: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Ground/english/exhibition/mfn/snowshoes.html Moccasins are another recent contribution to mainstream culture. The Moccasin is a type of footwear native to the Aboriginals. The word derived from the Algonquian tribe, and is used to refer to a type of footwear made out of soft leather and sewn together in a 'slipper-like' form. Traditionally this type of footwear was made from deer or moose hide, and decorated with exotic beadwork or quillwork or other similar aboriginal designs. They are one of the most crucial forms of transportation, and could be used in any season. The fur used ensures enough protection to the feet, and retains warmth during winter (Beavon et al., 2005). Thus not only did the aboriginal tribes taught ... Read More
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