Edu-Kit Catalogue: First Nations in Niagara

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1 Edu-Kit Catalogue: First Nations in Niagara Artifact Miniature Snowshoes (2) Handmade snowshoes were a popular form of transportation for First Nations people during the winter months in Niagara. Beadwork (in silver case, please use gloves provided when handling this piece) A popular form of embellishment, beadwork appears on articles of clothing and personal adornment across many different First Nations groups. Glass beads first arrived in North America through the fur trade. Miniature Lacrosse Stick Lacrosse was a popular Aboriginal sport well before the arrival of Europeans. The lacrosse stick was used to catch, carry, pass, and shoot the ball. Pictographs Long before there were words and writing, Aboriginal people used picture symbols to write their stories on rocks, skins and bark. This type of symbol is known as a pictograph. Braided sweetgrass Sweetgrass is one of the four sacred medicines of the First Nations people and used for ritual cleansing.

2 Tanned Buffalo Hide Although the buffalo was not a fixture for Ontario First Nations people, Aboriginal peoples of the plains region relied on Buffalo and often moved around, following the herd. These people used Buffalo hide for clothing, blankets, shields, and covering for tipis. Beaver Fur Beaver Trim Beaver fur was an extremely important part of the economy after European settlers arrived in North America. Aboriginal peoples would trade beaver fur to the Europeans in exchange for tools such as knives or iron pots. The fur was valuable in Europe due to an explosion in the popularity of beaver fur hats starting around Rabbit Fur Rabbit furs were used for a variety of clothing pieces, such as leggings, robes, dresses, and moccasins. Wolf Fur This thick fur would sometimes be used as an extra protective layer of clothing during cold winters. National Aboriginal Day Postcards These postcards feature paintings by Aboriginal artist David Hannan that reflect his Métis heritage.

3 Beadwork Pendant The colour scheme of this beadwork is representative of the Medicine Wheel. Each colour represents a part of a person (mental, spiritual, physical and emotional) which must be kept in balance to maintain good health. Métis/Louis Riel Postcards These postcards commemorate the Métis history and culture, including the contributions of Métis leader Louis Riel. Dream Catcher Dream catchers were often made of twigs, sinew, and feathers, and were hung in the lodge or home. It is believed that good dreams find their way through the feathers to the sleeper, while bad dreams get caught in the web and burn up in the morning light. Miniature Canoe (birch bark) Canoes served as a primary means of transportation for many Aboriginal groups. They would transport people and goods often over very long distances via canoe. Toy Turtle The turtle has great significance in Aboriginal culture. One Iroquois creation story states that the world began with only water and sky. When a woman suddenly fell from the sky world, the Great Turtle placed mud on his back to create land for her, and this was how the earth was created.

4 Sketch of Aboriginal peoples in a longhouse The Iroquois lived in longhouses. Many of these people were farmers, meaning they lived in permanent villages containing several longhouses. Each longhouse sheltered several related families. Upon marriage, a man would move into his wife s longhouse. Cradleboard Wooden cradleboards were used to carry infants and small children. Cornhusk Doll (hoop dancer) Cornhusks were rolled and twisted together to make dolls. This cornhusk doll depicts a hoop dancer. The hoop dance is a storytelling dance that incorporates hoops into movements to represent characters and symbols. Swan This is an example of traditional Aboriginal artwork, made by binding small twigs together with twine. These decorative pieces are considered to be an important part of Aboriginal culture. Small Woven Basket Baskets such as this one were woven by Aboriginal peoples using a variety of materials. These baskets would be used for storage or to carry other items.

5 Feather Feathers hold special significance in Aboriginal culture. The eagle feather in particular is seen to represent vision, courage and power. Feathers were sometimes used in clothing or special ceremonies. Pouch These pouches were often made out of animal skins and used to hold a variety of small objects. Ring and Stick Game Similar to the popular ball and cup game, the goal of this traditional Aboriginal pastime is to swing the ring up and catch it on the end of the stick. Animal Hide Pouch Pouches like this one were often made from tanned animal hide and used to carry small objects or food. They would sometimes be decorated or painted as well.

6 Projectile Points Arrowheads were carved from chert and typically fastened to handles. These weapons were useful for hunting, fishing, and warfare. Inuksuk Pendant Real inuksuit were made of large stones and used by the Inuit peoples of the Arctic region. The landscape had few natural landmarks, so inuksuit were used as reference points for travel routes, hunting grounds, camps, etc. Answer Feather A traditional healing tool among some Aboriginal groups that can be worn throughout the day to help someone seeking guidance find answers. Bracelet These bracelets were often made from tanned animal hide and were worn as decoration. A Historical Map of the Region home to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Nation This map was originally published in London in 1728, by the Surveyor General of New York.

7 White Tail Deer Antler Antlers (and bones) from animals such as deer or caribou were often used to make tools. Métis Sash Perhaps the most prominent symbol of the Métis nation today, these sashes were also worn by French fur traders.

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