The Aboriginal People of Newfoundland

The Aboriginal People of Newfoundland

Length: 1093 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Aboriginal People of Newfoundland

The Beothuk people of Newfoundland were not the very first inhabitants of the island. Thousands of years before their arrival there existed an ancient race, named the Maritime Archaic Indians who lived on the shores of Newfoundland. (Red Ochre Indians, Marshall, 4.) Burial plots and polished stone tools are occasionally discovered near Beothuk remains. Some people speculate that, because of the proximity of the artifacts to the former lands of the Beothuk, the Maritime Archaic Indians and the Beothuk may have been related. It is not certain when the Beothuk arrived on the island. In fact little is actually known about the people, compared to what is known about other amerindian civilisations, only artifacts and stories told by elders tell the historians who these people really were. Some speculate that they travelled from "Labrador to Newfoundland across the strait of Belle Isle, which at one time was only 12 miles wide. By about 200 AD the Beothuk Indians were probably well settled into Newfoundland."(Red Ochre, 8)
The Beothuk were not alone on Newfoundland wither. The Dorset Eskimos, who came from Cape Dorset regions of the north around 500 BC also shared the island. They presumably had contact with the Beothuk, exchanging tools or engaging in battle. In any case the Dorset Indians died out leaving Newfoundland empty to the control of the Beothuk people who now had no enemies and a wide vast territory. The Beothuk, although part of the Algonkian family developed their own language and culture. The 400 words that are still known from their language prove their Algonkian heritage. The development of their culture was a great success. The success of the Beothuk people as a whole was in part because of their skills in fishing, hunting and travel. They were the "only amerindian group to navigate on the high seas."(Grabowski lecture Oct 4,`96.) This was because of the construction of their canoes. Normally paddling on the high seas is dangerous, but Beothuk canoes were so designed to with stand high waves and stay accurately on course. The canoes "were made of a frame work of spruce and then covered with birch bark."(Red Ochre, 9) They curved high at the sides and a sharp bottom acted as a keel. The high sides protected as a barrier from wave swamping the boat. Because of hunting expeditions on the Funk islands, 60 kilometres from shore, ocean travel was evident and sea worthiness was essential.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Aboriginal People of Newfoundland." 10 Dec 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The History Of Canada 's Aboriginal People Essay

-   The history of Canada’s Aboriginal people is a rich but tumultuous one, rife with conflict, but also full of valuable information we can emulate in our lives. Aboriginal people is the name for the original inhabitants of North America and their descendants. Though it’s unfortunate that Aboriginals, mostly those living on reservations, are seen as drunkards. Able to satisfy all of their material and spiritual needs through resources of the natural world around them. White privilege has negatively impacted Aboriginal peoples living on reservations through oppression, marginalization, and degradation....   [tags: First Nations, Aboriginal peoples in Canada]

Research Papers
1068 words (3.1 pages)

Why Canada Has Fallen Short On Respecting Aboriginal People 's Identity As A Whole

- Introduction In Canada we are lucky to have so many diverse ethnicities that bring their own customs, values and beliefs. My family settled in Canada in the 1700’s and 1800’s from Europe, bringing their knowledge of farming to the East Coast. Since then Canada has changed a lot but one thing in my family has not. Our identity. From talking with my family we consider ourselves Canadian, and we are very patriotic and believe in putting our country first, many family members on both sides of my family have been in the Royal Canadian Military, or have been Royal Canadian Mounted Police....   [tags: Indigenous Australians, Indigenous peoples]

Research Papers
2141 words (6.1 pages)

Essay on Aboriginal Rights : Aboriginal People

- Since time immoral, Aboriginal people and their ancestors have settled and lived in North America. With contact of European settlers, came severe oppression and genocide. Since contact, Aboriginal people have led an uphill battle, fighting with the Canadian government for Aboriginal freedom and equality. Many suggest that Canadians still should be held morally responsible for the crimes committed against our indigenous peoples, such as the implementation of Canadian residential schools and aboriginal sterilization....   [tags: First Nations, Aboriginal peoples in Canada]

Research Papers
1191 words (3.4 pages)

The Battle For Complete Colonial Domination Over Newfoundland Essay

- During the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the battle for complete colonial domination over Newfoundland had become exacerbated through military and diplomatic hostilities between England and France. These ethnic and nationalist conflicts devolved many decades of cooperation and solidarity amongst fisherman in Newfoundland, which would result in continual warfare between Britain and France. During 1696-1697, the French military under Pierre Le Moyne d 'Iberville had attacked British fishing settlements and destroyed many of them during this conflict....   [tags: British Empire, United Kingdom, Newfoundland]

Research Papers
1316 words (3.8 pages)

We Must Reduce the Drop-Out Rates for Aboriginal People Essay

- There are many current and emerging issues that impact students and their education. These issues impact western and aboriginal students in their own way and some more than the other. Dropping out of school is a main issue because many students do it and they each have their own reasons why. It is an issue because students who tend to drop out of school have a higher chance of not returning and not finishing the get their high school diploma. There are many different reasons why students decide to drop out of school, according to Stats Canada “Young men continue to have higher dropout rates then young women....   [tags: aboriginal students, ]

Research Papers
931 words (2.7 pages)

The Poltical Stuggles Facing Newfoundland prior to Joining Canada, 1864-1949

- Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, making it the last and most recent province to become part of the country. Newfoundland had the opportunity to enter into Confederaton in 1867, when Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia first formed the dominion but decided to remain an independent political entity, under British control. This decision also reflected the opposing political views between the colony’s Conservative and Liberal parties. Over time, many of Newfoundland’s core industries began to suffer, while the colony’s government continued to disagree, even through Canada’s offer to have Newfoundland join the larger nation in 1895....   [tags: canada, newfoundland, confederation]

Research Papers
2353 words (6.7 pages)

Essay on The History Of Aboriginal People

- The history of aboriginal people in Canada’s history is long, tragic and plagued with cruelty. From the years 1534 until 1815 has often been called a period of “collaboration” between European settlers and indigenous people, however, this is not truly the case. While there were some instances of the two groups working together, such as the fur trade and the military alliances that were formed. However, ultimately the native people of the North American lands did not benefit in any way from the arrival of the colonizers....   [tags: Indigenous Australians, Indigenous peoples]

Research Papers
1090 words (3.1 pages)

Residential Schools On Aboriginal Children And Now Adults Essay

-   Introduction For years, the Aboriginal people have faced discrimination in Canada. They are often perceived as an inferior “race” due to their native traditions being fairly different from the typical white Canadian traditions. In the 19th century, the Canadian government mandated residential schools under the federal law- it was illegal for children to attend any other schools. More than 100,000 First Nations children, in Canada were separated from their families and were forced to attend residential schools all across Canada....   [tags: First Nations, Aboriginal peoples in Canada]

Research Papers
1810 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Aboriginal Self Government For Aboriginal People

- Aboriginals have lived various types of lives and in attempt to improve the lives of Canada’s Aboriginal people formed the Aboriginal self-government. Developing self-government for aboriginal peoples living in urban areas was not easy. The form of self-government varied across the country depending on the factors in each area or region. Some cities had existing aboriginal organizations providing a good basis upon which to build which made the self-government an easier thing to make. Despite the many challenges, self-government for aboriginal peoples living in urban areas is a concept that can be realized and can contribute to meeting the needs and aspirations of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples....   [tags: Indigenous Australians, First Nations, Canada]

Research Papers
1156 words (3.3 pages)

Aboriginal Life Essay

- Describe the main characteristics of a religious response to the human search for meaning. Since the beginning of time human beings have continuously searched for evidence and an explanation to answer the great questions of human experience, Is there a supreme being. Who am I. Why is there evil pain and suffering. And is there life after death. Discovering the meaning of life and a way in which to live it has always been important to human being and religion does this through its characteristics, beliefs and believers, sacred texts and writings, ethics and rituals and ceremonies....   [tags: Aboriginal Religion Response Research Paper]

Free Essays
1789 words (5.1 pages)

Related Searches

The knowledge of these canoes is only from documents produced by explorers and early settlers, all that is left of the original canoes are models of canoes found in burial sites.

"The Beothuk were a migratory people..."(Red Ochre, 14) they moved with the seasons and with the hunt. In fall they hunted caribou inland, in spring seals on the coast, the summer months seafood and birds eggs were harvested. The fall hunt was the most important, as it would determine their success in surviving the winter months. The Beothuk followed the patterns of migration of the caribou and laid out large traps of fallen trees along the river banks. Trees would be left leaning against their stumps creating a triangle to the ground. The trees would be piled one over the next and so on and produced a "thicket that the caribou could not penetrate or jump over."(Red Ochre, 15.) Trapping the caribou in the water was the objective as " the animals could not move quickly in the water."(Red Ochre,15.)

Indian people of North America have been called "red skins" for many years. This expression comes from the european settlers who arrived in Newfoundland and were met by the Beothuk. The Beothuk covered their entire bodies, clothing, and weapons with a "mixture of red ochre and oil."(Red Ochre, 4.)which protected them from the cold in winter and the mosquitoes and other bugs in summer. Other Algonkian tribes used it, although "not so lavishly as the Newfoundland indians."(Extinction, Rowe, 117) Some evidence shows that some juices were used "especially alder" to paint their bodies. "Sanku, a Micmac woman allegedly of part)Beothuk descent...(said that)... this painting of the body was done annually at special ceremonies which included the initiation of children born since the last ceremony. These body markings related to tribal identity and had religious significance."(Rowe, 118) Early European contact with the Beothuk began possibly with the arrival of the Vikings around 1000 AD. This can possibly be proven by the colour of the Beothuk's skin. Their complexion was light compared to that of the Micmac. Supposing that conflict arose between the Vikings and the Beothuk, it would be assumed that prisoners would be taken by the Beothuk. If these "prisoners included women or children, it would be unlikely that the Beothuk would put them to death."(Rowe, 118.) It is possible that assimilation of these prisoners into the community may have taken place. This might "explain why (John) Guy's observations showed that some of the Beothuks he encountered had yellow hair."(Rowe, 120.)
In 1497, John Cabot arrived in Newfoundland and brought back the news about a new undescovered area in the north. Even before this, however, there was contact between the Europeans and the Beothuk. Fishermen from England, Spain, Portugal and Francehad been usign the land to set up dry)fisheries. Because the fishermen were primarily there only to fish, little documentation is available.After teh announcement to Britain had been proclaimed more and more fishermen arrived and began "using" the dry)fisheries already in place of teh Beothuk. Innitially relations had been friendly but as "using" turned into "stealing" the Beothuk bacame increasinglyenraged adn occationally mounted raids on European fishing camps. The fishermen accused the raiding parties of theft and because there was little missionary interest in the Beothuk, there was also little "law and order" in teh areas where Beothuk and European fishermen shared land. Desperatly, teh Beothuk fought back, and more fights ensued over fisheries equipment, but any "atttempt at disobedience (on the part of the Beothuk) resulted in strict punishment."(Grabowski, Oct.4)


Grabowski, Jan. Lecture His 2401, October 4, 1996.
Howley, James Patrick. The Beothuks or Red Indians: The Aboriginal Inhabitants of Newfoundland. University of Cambridge Press., Cambridge, England.
Marshall, Ingeborg. History and the Ethnography of the BeothukMcGill)Queens University Press.: 1996, Canada.
Marshall, Ingeborg C.L.. Reports and Letters by George Christopher Pulling: Relating to the Beothuk Indians of Newfoundland Breakwater Books.: 1989, St.John's, Newfoundland.
Marshall, Ingeborg. The red Ochre People: How Newfoundland's Beothuk Indians Lived. J.J. Douglas Ltd.: 1977, Vancouver. Rowe, Frederick W.. EXTINCTION: The Beothuks of Newfoundland McGraw)Hill Ryerson Limited.: 1977, Toronto.
Return to