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Canada: Cultural Areas

Source:  National Atlas of Canada
Usage Notes/Copyright Status:  Click here for detailed copyright information
Date downloaded:  20-Oct-2010

Map Description:
This map was created from shapefile data provided by the National Atlas of Canada.

Canada may be divided into six broad Aboriginal cultural areas based on major geographic regions. Tribes in the same region share a greater number of cultural affinities than tribes from different regions. However only in the Arctic do the lines of geography, language and culture coincide so closely. Nunavut’s boundary strongly reflects that of the cultural zone of the Aboriginal people of the Eastern Arctic. The Inuit are descendants of the Thule, who came from Asia and lived in the Arctic for thousands of years. Their language, Inuktitut, is spoken by most of the population.

This map illustrates the six major aboriginal cultural areas of Canada. Notice that the Nunavut boundary closely reflects that of the cultural zone of the people of the Eastern Arctic. The Inuit also live in the northern regions of the Northwest Territories, northern Quebec and Labrador. The spoken language, Inuktitut, is limited to Nordic regions, while the other native cultural areas of Canada are much more heterogeneous.

The Arctic, characterized by its cold environment and scarce resources, has produced a highly specialized culture which was centred primarily on the hunt for seals and other marine mammals in coastal regions and caribou in inland areas west of Hudson Bay. Small, widely dispersed bands of hunters have traditionally followed seasonal migration patterns in search of these prey. (National Atlas of Canada)

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