Historic Land Usage
The Mi'kmaq required seasonal resource harvesting that brought them to the shoreline in the spring and summer and to inland areas near rivers and lakes during the autumn and winter. They arrived on the coast in the early spring, when the snow melted and fish became plentiful in rivers, streams, and inshore waters. Winter flounder was the earliest fish to become available, and was followed other species until the early fall including smelt, herring, salmon, sturgeon, trout, cod, and eels.
Fishers employed various harvesting methods. They put woven baskets in rivers and streams to act as nets and also built stone underwater fences to corral fish. They used bone hooks as well as spears and a three-pronged tools to able catch salmon, sturgeon, and other large species. The Mi'kmaq harvested shellfish, sea mammals including seals, seabirds, and bird eggs during the spring, summer, and early autumn.
The Mi'kmaq retreated inland in the late autumn to hunt beaver, bear, caribou and other mammals. They hunted large animals with harpoons or with bows and arrows and set snares for rabbits, partridges, and other small animals. Tthey often used their dogs to help track animals. Snowshoes allowed the Mi'kmaq to travel with ease during the winter and to overtake larger mammals slowed in deep snow. The hunting season usually ran from October until mid-March, when the Mi'kmaq returned to the coastline to harvest various marine resources. Seals sheltered in coastal areas in the early winter, and the Mi'kmaq sometimes returned to the shore in January and February to harvest these animals with harpoons.
Penwaaq Línuík(Benoit First Nation)
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