An Ancient Bond with the Land

Maritime Peoples

A Time of Scarcity

During the winter, Aboriginal peoples in the Atlantic region traditionally moved inland to the shelter of the forest. There, they lived in small family groups.

They hunted caribou and moose, trapped small game, and went ice fishing on lakes and ponds. Frozen rivers and lakes made convenient travel routes between trapping and hunting areas. Hunting trips to the sea coasts intercepted migratory marine mammals, especially breeding colonies of seals and walrus on the late-winter sea ice.

"I have seen upwards of a Thousand Moons (83 years). When I was young I had plenty: now I am old, poor and sickly too. My people are poor. No hunting Grounds - No Beaver - no Otter - no nothing. Indians poor - poor for ever. No store - no Chest - no Clothes. All these Woods once ours. Our Fathers possessed them all. Now we cannot cut a Tree to warm our Wigwam in Winter..."

Louis-Benjamin Paul in a letter to Queen Victoria, 1841

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