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Micmac [archive]

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Micmac

Location

: Northeast Canada: Nova Scotia, Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, Prince Edward Island, east New Brunswick and parts of southwest Newfoundland.

Language

: Mi'kmaq (Algonquian language group)

Daily Life

: The Micmac today continue to celebrate their cultural identity and work together to better the lives of their community. Most Micmac participate in the dominant Euro-American society while retaining their cultural roots.

Traditions

: Hunting deer, elk, seal, beaver, otter, moose, bear and caribou and fishing for smelts, herring, sturgeon, salmon, cod and eels were the main activities of traditional Micmac life. They also gathered maple tree sap and did a little farming. They built birch bark covered wigwams and canoes. In winter they traveled through the snow with the aid of snowshoes, sleds and toboggans. In fact, the English word "toboggan" comes from the Micmac taba'gan.

Most of their domestic tools were made from birch bark, often decorated with porcupine quills. These quilled boxes and baskets are quite distinctive to the Micmac.

The Micmacs shared with other Algonquian tribes a belief in a supreme being.

History

: European contact changed the economy of the Micmac, bringing them European goods like knives and different foods most of which were not as healthy for them as their traditional diet. A lot of native people were killed off by European diseases like smallpox.

Additional Reading

 Micmac Indians
 Micmac Language
 Micmac Words
 Mi'kmaq Myths
 Maine Indian reservations

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