Naskapi (American Indians Ready Reference)
The Naskapi, closely associated with the East Cree and Montagnais, lived in semipermanent winter villages in rectangular, split-log lodges. During the rest of the year, temporary hide-covered conical dwellings were used during the subsistence round, which focused upon hunting and trapping caribou, moose, and Dall's sheep. Nearly every species of bird was also hunted. Watercraft were usually made of birchbark, although some moose-skin boats were utilized, mostly for load transportation.
The first sustained European Canadian contact was with the trapper-traders of the Hudson's Bay Company, who introduced considerable change to aboriginal settlement patterns, subsistence orientation, and eventually to the Naskapi religion. The once highly mobile Naskapi developed ties to trading posts and became dependent on the exchange of furs for trade goods.
The traditional self-sufficient Naskapi culture no longer exists; Naskapis are dependent on the European Canadian market economy, and most earn a living by wage employment. They are served by government schools and health programs.
(The entire section is 156 words.)
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