Pioneer Life in Upper Canada
Aboriginal Peoples
La vie de pionnier dans le Haut-Canada

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Aboriginal Peoples In Upper Canada 
Before the Early Settlers Arrived

Ideas About the Use of Land

The pioneers and Aboriginal peoples had different ideas about how the land should be used.   The pioneers believed they had the right to own land and change it by clearing the forest for their settlements and building villages.  The Aboriginal peoples believed that the land was for everyone to use and share.

Aboriginal Peoples Helped the Settlers

The pioneers learned important things from the Aboriginal peoples.  
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They showed the pioneers that planting different crops each year in a field would help keep the soil rich. This is called crop rotation.
They showed them how to plant corn, beans and squash together so they helped each other to grow.  These were known as the "three sisters".  The corn provided support for the beans, the beans as they grew, provided nitrogen for the corn and the large prickly squash leaves shaded the soil, preventing weed growth and keeping away pests.
They showed them the importance of corn as a food both for humans and animals.

The Aboriginal peoples knew how to cure some illnesses using plants and herbs.

Food and Clothing
They taught the pioneers how to catch fish, how to get sugar from maple trees, which plant roots and nuts were good to eat, and where to find "honey trees". They also showed them where to find animals to hunt and trap and how to preserve the meat and use the animal hides for clothing.

The Aboriginal peoples showed the pioneers the trails they had made across the land.  To walk those trails in the winter, they showed them how to make snowshoes. They also showed them how to make birch bark canoes so they could travel along the rivers.  

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