Abo­ri­gi­nal en­coun­ters

Guide Arc-en-ciel - - Expérimentez Le Québec -

A stay in an Abo­ri­gi­nal com­mu­ni­ty in Qué­bec is an un­pa­ral­le­led op­por­tu­ni­ty to en­coun­ter people rich in tra­di­tion and he­ri­tage who seek to re­con­cile an­ces­tral va­lues with the de­mands of mo­dern life. Some com­mu­ni­ties show­case an­ces­tral cus­toms; others fo­cus on ad­ven­ture or cultu­ral dis­co­ve­ries, while still others of­fer com­mu­ni­ty-ma­na­ged ac­com­mo­da­tions.

Dwel­ling adap­ta­tion

While most First Na­tions peoples now live in North Ame­ri­can-style houses, they once had to adapt their dwel­lings to a se­den­ta­ry, no­ma­dic or se­mi-no­ma­dic li­fe­style, as well as the cli­mate and their lo­ca­tion. As such homes can still be found across Qué­bec’s land­scape, tra­vel­lers can vi­sit a lon­ghouse or sleep in a te­pee. In the Great North, it’s even pos­sible to stay in an igloo! These tra­di­tio­nal Abo­ri­gi­nal dwel­lings fea­ture all the com­forts of mo­dern life.

Le­gends and tra­di­tions

The Pow Wow is one of the fo­re­most ce­le­bra­tions of an­ces­tral culture among the my­riad of Abo­ri­gi­nal rites and tra­di­tions. Mu­sic, art, han­di­craft and cui­sine are show­ca­sed du­ring wee­kends all sum­mer long. Dres­sed in tra­di­tio­nal garb, par­ti­ci­pants dance and sing to the beat of drums. Con­tra­ry to po­pu­lar be­lief, al­co­hol is for­bid­den du­ring these events. Other shows, fes­ti­vals and events ce­le­brate Abo­ri­gi­nal tra­di­tions. These of­fer an in­ter­es­ting look in­to les­ser-known cus­toms that are worth discovering!

Tra­di­tio­nal Abo­ri­gi­nal dishes

As hun­ters, ga­the­rers, fi­sher­men and trap­pers, Qué­bec’s Abo­ri­gi­nal peoples li­ved most­ly off nature’s boun­ty and the St. La­wrence Ri­ver’s plen­ti­ful fish. They got their sus­te­nance from game ani­mals, fish, mush­rooms and ber­ries they found where they set up their camp. Meat, fruits and ve­ge­tables were smo­ked and oc­ca­sio­nal­ly sal­ted to help pre­serve them lon­ger. Ban­nock, a type of flat, yeast-free, ea­sy-to-make bread, was a staple food among Abo­ri­gi­nals. In fact, se­ve­ral res­tau­rant chefs have rein­tro­duce tra­di­tio­nal Abo­ri­gi­nal cui­sine.

Art­work and han­di­craft

Abo­ri­gi­nal art is ex­pres­sive, evo­ca­tive and beau­ti­ful. Sculp­tures, pain­tings and eve­ry­day items crea­ted by va­rious com­mu­ni­ties are all unique and of­ten de­pict scenes from these peoples’ lives. The Cree are re­now­ned for their lea­ther­wor­king skill, while Inuit sculp­tures are fa­mous th­rou­ghout the world. Com­bi­ning an­ces­tral culture and mo­dern ele­ments, Abo­ri­gi­nal art­works and han­di­crafts evoke raw, of­ten un­fil­te­red emo­tions that make an im­pres­sion on eve­ryone.


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