Most Algonquian Nations were nomadic or semi-nomadic; in other words, they had no fixed homes. In the summer, they tended to gather in large groups and settle near a river or lake. They spent the entire summer in one place and ate the fish they caught. In the winter months, when the lakes and rivers were frozen, many people moved and settled in forests. During this time of the year, many Algonquians hunted small and big game. It was easier for them to hunt big game like moose in the winter because these animals move slowly in deep snow.

Disbanding to survive

Meat was an important part of the traditional Algonquian diet. In the winter, large groups tended to split up into small bands to avoid hunting on the territories of the other bands. Once there was no game left in one place, they moved to another spot where the hunting would be better. Over the course of a winter,  Algonquians tended to move camp several times; they tended not stay more than 15 or 20 days in the same place.

Author: Alexandre Lanoix. Adaptations and translation by LEARN/RÉCIT.

See also:  Traces of the Past   — A new discovery

Important concepts and big ideas:

Habitation – Habitation
Nomad – Nomad
Resources – Ressources
Subarctic climate – Climat subarctique
Subsistence – Subsistance

Quickly check your knowledge: