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Algokin college essay

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– Algonkian lived in Quebec and Ontario; starting from the Ottawa valley, beneath Hudson Bay and above lower Ontario

– the areas in which they lived in were dense woodlands with trees, such as, birch and evergreen; and snow covered the land most of the year.

Adaptation to the physical Environment

– Algonkian homes were called Wigwam, there frames were built out of saplings of tall, young tree trunks which were tied together with narrow strips of bark or root fibers, to form a dome shape

– the frame was covered with woven mats or barks, then was firmly tied to the frames

– light birch bark were used as covers in the summer and heavy elm or walnut bark was used in the winter

– tribes lived in one designated location, but it was common for them to move within that region, depending on the season

– during the spring and summer they would shift their homes closer to the water so that they may be able to fish with more ease

– while in the autumn and winter they would move near the forest so they would be able to hunt for animals

– on land Algonkians generally walked, but they traveled by canoes in the water

– they had two types of canoes – the dugout and birch bark, which were made from hollowing whole trees

– during summer men wore only a deerskin loincloth

– women wore an apron or a long wraparound skirt made form the same material

– when weather became colder the Algonkian added skin shirts, fur robes, leggings and feather clocks

– they also greased the bodies to ward off insects in the summer and keep warm in winter

– Algonkians lived too far north and outside the rice ring for agriculture

– they were mainly semi-nomadie bands of hunter -gathers

– some southern bands began growing crops in 17th century

– they hunted animals using the nich of projectile points made from flints

– they were best identified for their skills as hunters who made the best traps and snares, the traps and snares come inmany different forms and changed with each season

– among the animals hunted were deers, moose, beavers, cariboues, elks and bears.

– during the summer groups would gather to fish and socialize

– when winter came they separated into small hunting camps of extended families

– due to the harsh climate in which they lived, starvation was quiet common for the Algonkian people and they were known to kill their sick, crippled or badly wounded

– Algonkian did not have highly developed centered political system

– each Algonian tribe was a nation and had its own leaders

– the tribe’s leaders were called Sachem.

– the Sachem title was not elected but inherited

– most Sachems were men, but occasionally a Squaw Sachem ruled over the tribe

– several other men called Sagomores and Sachem made up the tribal council

– the Sagamores also severed as war captions and Shaman

– as the Algonkian had no written laws, the Sachem had the authority to make rules and enforce punishments, but inorder to act, however, all the council members had to agree to the Sachem’s wishes

– Algonkian social structure was patriarchal where men were leaders and heads of families

– hunting rights of territories were passed from father to son, but they used matrilineal descents in determining kinship

– most Algonkian speaking tribes shared similar religious views and creation stories

– they all accepted that there was a great sprit or supreme creator call Kautantowwit ; and there were lessor sprits who controlled elements

– many tribes had heroic figures who set forth the ideals skills, which the people would require inorder to survive

– they also feared evil spirits who they believed caused mischief, misfortune or illness, such as Hanegoategeh; and worshipped good spirits which were thought aided the worthy and punished the wrongdoers

– the Algankians believed in an after life where the spirits of dead men pressured the spirits of dead animals

– unlike modern religions they did not believe in hell or eternal punishment

– dreams had a significant impact on Alkongkians

– Shamans or Powwows (Individuals who had powerful positions in the tribes, was believed to heal the sick and had the ability to communicate to the spiritual world), it was their duty to interpret dreams properly

-the Algonkians also were afraid of witchcraft and would be reluctant to mention their real names in fear of possible misuse by their enemies with spiritual powers or of evil intent

– the Alkongians children were brought up from a very young age to develop skills and abilities they would require in order to survive as adults.

– children were thought to run as soon as they were able to walk

– the children were provided with leisure times but their responsibilities were given first priority

– all children aided their mothers in the corps fields

– boys ages as young as 6 were taught how to make hunting tools and proper hunting methods which they would require as adults by their fathers

– games were also meant to develop their survival skills, common games were running matches, swimming and archery – other games included former baseball using a long stick as the bat and pine cone as the ball.

– elder members of the tribe taught the children about their culture, history and heroes through stories

Europeans first contact Alkangians and the impact it had on Algonkian, Welfare, Trade and Economy

– the meeting of the French had tremendous impact on Algonkian welfare and trade

– Algonkian and French first made contact in 1603 when Samuel De Champlian made his first permanent French settlement on the St. Lawrence at Tabussac in 1603

– Champlain discovered that the Algonkian’s fur was very impressive

– when Champlain discovered the war between the Algonkian and Iroquois since 1570, in order to obtain a fur treaty and show his loyalty to the Algonkian, he allowed the French troupes to be drawn into intertribal war in1609

– Champlain obtained his fur treaty with the Algonkian when he helped them defeat the Mohawk (Iroquois) in a battle using French Firearms in 1610

– in exchange for the fur the Algonkians received steel weapons from the French which they used to drive the Mohawks far south of the St. Lawrence River

– by 1614 the French shifted their interest on the fur trade from the Algonkins to the Hurons and the Algonkians were reduced to second partners, though they remained in business with the French

– Algonkians after the Mohawks gained support of the Dutch and had access to European’s weapons lost battles and pretty much went out of site as far as the French concerned

– eventually Algonkian set fur trading post along the north end of the Ottawa Valley

– the Algonkian remained important allies to the French until the French and Indian war (1755 – 63)

– once French were defeated and the British took over, they choose made allies with Iroquosi over the Algonkian

– although Algonkians fought along side with the British in the American Revolution in (1775 -83), following the war they were moved out of their homelands to make room for new communes.

– finally the Canadian government established ten reserves for the Algonkians to live in but this was only a tiny portion of what once was their original homeland,


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