An Ancient Bond with the Land

Maritime Peoples

A Time of Sharing

Late spring and summer were the seasons for people coming together. Family groups reunited after the hardships of winter. With plenty of food assured, people gathered at co-operative fishing stations and settlement areas.

It was a time for travel, sharing and trading, for discussing political issues and celebrating marriages. Mi'kmaq travelled by canoe to offshore locations to fish and hunt sea mammals and birds. With good weather, they could travel in large sea-going canoes to islands in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There, they hunted the abundant walrus herds.

Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient peoples crossed the Gulf of St. Lawrence as far back as 4,000 years ago. Rock valued for stone tools came from northern Labrador and was traded as far south as Massachusetts. Soapstone, quarried in New England, was another desired commodity. People used it to make items, such as bowls, 3,500 years ago.

Traditional Aboriginal trade routes in Atlantic Canada

Map - Atlantic Canada - Canadian Geographic
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