An Ancient Bond with the Land
Communal Hunters of the Plains and Western Subarctic
Much of interior Canada was home to people who depended on the communal hunting of herd animals for subsistence. In the northern Plains, the Nehiyaw (Plains Cree), Anishnaabe (Plains Ojibwa), Nakota (Assiniboines), Atsina, Siksika (Blackfoot) and T'suu T'ina (Sarcee) were all communal bison hunters. In the Subarctic, caribou were the main species hunted by many Algonquian and Athapaskan (Dene) groups, including the Gwi'chin and Chipewyan of the western Subarctic.
Cooperation was key to communal hunting. Hunting communally produced more food and materials with less time and effort than individual hunting. This meant that there were surpluses available for times of scarcity.