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Aboriginal Youth Identity Series: Health and Wellness TidbitsGlossary Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness

Glossary

Blackfoot Nation

One of the best known of the northern tribes, the Blackfoot were the first Nation to meet the fur traders. Also known as the Siksika, this Nation has lived on the Plains for generations.

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Legends

Traditional stories that help explain why things in the world occur or exist.

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Aboriginal

A collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. The Canadian Constitution (the Constitution Act, 1982) recognizes three groups of Aboriginal Peoples - Indians, Métis, and Inuit. These are three separate peoples with unique heritages, languages, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs.

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Culture

The customs and shared beliefs, attitudes, values, goals, practices, social forms, and material traits of a religious, racial, or social group.

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Community

People who are part of a large group that shares similar interests and backgrounds (religion, language, ancestry).

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First Nation

A name Aboriginal People gave themselves that refers to them as the original inhabitants of Canada.

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Oral history

Information not recorded in written format, but is instead passed down through generations using stories and legends.

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Traditions 

Aspects of a culture that are practiced from one generation to the next. One way that traditions are passed down in Aboriginal communities is through oral history.

Birch Bark Canoe

Birch bark canoes were sturdy yet lightweight and could be paddled and carried by one person. They were constructed using a variety of materials including birch bark for the skin of the canoe, cedar for the ribs and sheathing, and spruce roots and gum for the lashings and caulking.

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Moss

As in bog, swamp, peat, peat moss; a clump of plants having small, leafy, often tufted stem bearing sex organs at its tip; a clump of these plants; a mossy covering.

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Portage

A carrying of boats, canoes, and provisions over land from one stretch of water to another; the route followed in making such a transfer; the labour of carrying or transporting; to move or carry gear over a portage.

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Rat canoe

A small, very light boat (about three metres long) used in shallow water for hunting muskrat.

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Skiff (Chipewyan)

A flat-bottomed boat, typically about seven meters long; used for river travel.

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White birch

Aboriginal People used the white birch tree with its emerald leaves as a functional tool to make a variety of items. It was used to make canoes, baskets, tipi covers, snowshoe frames, toboggans, and canoe paddles. The bark was also used as a form of powder to treat diaper rash and the sap was harvested for syrup and sugar.

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Caulk

To make waterproof by filling the seams or joints of boats or houses with waterproof material.

Caulking

Material used to caulk seams.

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Downstream

In the direction of the flow of a stream.

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Freeze-up

Indicates the time of year when rivers and lakes freeze over, marking the onset of winter.

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Habitat

The natural environment of an animal or plant.

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