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The Big Challenge to Find Food
It took a lot of patience and skill, and an understanding of nature’s cycles, to be able to get enough food to survive all year in Canada. First Nation and Inuit peoples used many different strategies: hunting, gathering wild plants, farming, and trading food between tribes. One thing was for certain; nothing was ever wasted, especially the animals. Often when an animal was killed, the hunter would give thanks to its spirit for giving up its life. And every single part of that animal was used, not just for food but for clothing, tools, containers and much more.
Can you guess how many different things could be made from one bison? Move your mouse over the parts of the bison to discover what they were made into!
All hunted animals were used very carefully. Caribou antlers and bones were used to make tools, while the skins were very important for making tents, clothing and warm parkas in areas where there were no bison. On the coasts and in the Arctic, whale was hunted for food (one whale could feed several families all winter long), while the rib bones made excellent ribs for boats and rafters for houses. As well, the whale’s baleen (whales that have no teeth have baleen plates instead, made of keratin just like your fingernails) was used to make tools and the blubber was made into oil to burn in lamps!