Pioneer Life in Upper Canada

Aboriginal Peoples Helping the Pioneers

   Snowshoes and Other Help for Winter 

         When the settlers arrived in Upper Canada, they required a great deal of assistance to be able to live on the land successfully.  The Native people knew best how to travel in winter conditions.  Many of the settlers came from areas that were not nearly as cold and snowy during the winter months.
     The Native people showed the settlers how to use snowshoes which were made by forming a frame from wood and weaving animal hide or sinew into the center, making a strong net.  It looks something like a big tennis racket without the long handle.  The frames were tied to boots with leather straps.  These large shoes helped the people to distribute their weight over a great area, meaning that they would not sink as easily into the snow.  This made walking much easier and faster.  Snowshoes are still very useful today.
     Native people also showed the settlers how to make and use toboggans which are now very popular winter toys.  At the time of early settlement, toboggans were necessary for transporting things in snow.

Canadian Encyclopedia

Source: Long Ago Before I Was Born:
A Look At Life in Early Settler Times - A Unit for Grade 3