Our knowledge of past peoples relies on oral traditions, historical
records and archaeological evidence. The farther back in time we go, the
more this archaeological evidence becomes our only window on the past,
and we must often use scant information to speculate on how aboriginal
For at least 11,000 years - long before the arrival of European
fishermen - aboriginal peoples have regarded Atlantic Canada as home.
Although never densely populated, even in early times, Atlantic Canada did
support significant populations. These peoples adapted well to seasonal
shifts in the availability of resources from the land, rivers and sea.
Descendants of these ancient peoples are known today as the
Algonkian-speaking Mi'kmaq, Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, Montagnais and Innu.