We have very little information about Indigenous peoples from this time because they did not have a written language. Instead, things of the past and knowledge were passed on orally. This is called oral tradition. It is hard to know which individuals were important to the Algonquian people because they did not leave any written records.
The fact that there were no documents written by Indigenous people before the arrival of the Europeans explains why our knowledge of them was limited. We do not know exactly who they were, how they lived, what they thought or what they dreamed about. But we do know some things about Indigenous societies around 1500. This information comes from archaeological discoveries and testimonies written by the first Europeans to arrive on the North American continent. It also comes from observing Indigenous societies today and the oral traditions that they had maintained.
Important concepts & Big ideas
Archaeology – Archéologie
Oral Tradition – Tradition orale
Language family – Famille de langues
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