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Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia and Edukits

Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia


The Glossary used for this Edukit will be the same one used on the main website People of the Boreal Forest.

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Being the earliest known in a particular region; native, indigenous. In Canada, Section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982 defined Aboriginal Peoples to include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
The deciduous horn of a member of the deer family, i.e. moose, caribou, elk, or deer. Often used by Aboriginal Peoples in the production of art, crafts, and tools.
Rawhide (usually moosehide) soaked in resin (usually the sap of a spruce tree); it is commonly used as webbing in snowshoes.
A container, usually of fabric construction, carried on a person’s back and used to carry supplies.
Food, or an object that gives off the appearance, sound, or scent of food used to lure an animal, bird, or fish into a trap.
A heavy, flat, round bread made of flour, usually unleavened; a traditional recipe includes ground plant root and fish eggs.
A flat-bottomed boat capable of carrying freight across rivers and lakes, and pushed or pulled by a motor boat. Sizes range from a load capacity of two tonnes to six-hundred tonnes or more.
Goods and supplies carried or transported across a river or lake by a barge either pushed or pulled by a power boat.
To remove the bark of a tree after it has been cut down; to bark a log or pole.
Barren Lands:
Lands north of the boreal forest; a tract of land with minimal tree growth and little vegetation. It is a vast nesting habitat for many migrating birds.
The protective cover of a birch tree. Used traditionally to cover a canoe frame and used extensively in the production of crafts.
birchbark imprint:
The creative design made by tooth imprints bitten in a strip of birchbark; usually the practice of First Nations women.
black ice:
A sheet of floating ice that is saturated with melt run-off; it may sink without warning.
Pertaining to, or located, in northern regions.
boreal forest:
A large area of wooded land consisting of a dense growth of trees and underbrush, relating to northern and mountainous parts the northern hemisphere.
The fine branches of a coniferous tree, often refers to the small branches of a spruce tree, as in spruce boughs.
The front end of a canoe or boat.
A time or season of year, particularly in early spring when the movement and breaking of ice across lakes and rivers is caused by melting.
break trail:
To pack snow, usually with snowshoes, to allow access for walking or for dog team travel.
The low growth of shrubs and grass often mixed with tree growth; resembles a forest ground cover.
bush person:
A person occupying forest land; living in part or in total from and off the land.
A small house located along a trapline used by trappers as a temporary residence or overnight shelter, usually built of logs and consisting of a single room.
A place for the storage of food and supplies, often located at strategic locations along the trapline and hunting route.
A residence, home, and property in the northern bushland.
Lake or river ice which, in the spring, is near breakup condition. Not safe to travel over.
carriole, carryall:
A toboggan about four metres (thirteen feet) long and half a metre (one and a half feet) wide, fitted with a fabric (moosehide) sidewall cover; used to carry people and supplies. It is pulled by dogs, snowmobiles, or all-terrain wheeled vehicles.
Large glands located under the belly skin of both male and female beavers, by which the scent of the beaver is carried and dispersed. Castors are a source of traditional medicine and a market commodity for the contemporary commercial perfume industry.
Scent from the castor of a beaver; used in a variety of traditional medicines and to produce commercial perfume.
The act of filling seams or joints of boats and log buildings.
caulking compound:
Material used to fill and seal the seams of boats and houses.
A river or lake pathway for boats, especially relevant where there is a narrow channel meandering under the surface of a large body of shallow water.
(see caulking) To fill the gap between the logs of a house; to fill the gaps between boards on a Chipewyan skiff to keep out water or air.
An area of land in a forest where trees are cleared out; can also found along the shoreline of a stream, river, or lake.
conical tent:
(see tepee) A shape resembling a cone; the shape of an Aboriginal tepee.
Also known as Indian Popcorn, a sweet and crunchy snack made when the stomach cape of a moose is rendered to remove fat and then dried.
Customary beliefs, values, and material traits of a racial or social group; the Aboriginal lifestyle.
Fallen trees, often used as a shelter by animals and birds; often a source of dry firewood.
A person who controls and drives a dog team while it pulls a toboggan.
The layer of feathers of a goose or duck used for stuffing pillows, quilts and clothing, and as lining in bird nests. The eider duck (female) is a preferred source of down.
In the direction of the flow of a river.
In the direction towards which the wind is blowing; to be downwind from the location of a hunted animal.
dressing an animal:
Preparing the carcass of a hunted animal, bird, or fish; removing hide (skin), some bones, and entrails.
dry cure:
A process of curing food, particularly meat and fish, in the open air over a trickle of smoke and heat from a wood fire.
(as in dugout canoe) This is a hollowed-out log fashioned to be a water transportation vehicle. A canoe is as short as two metres (six and a half feet) and as long as the tree size will allow, usually ten metres (thirty-three feet) or more.
A place along a riverbank where the flowing water reverses its direction creating a circular flow of water. A preferred place for travellers to rest or to place a permanent dock.
About ten kilograms (twenty-two pounds) worth of fish hung head-down on a willow branch which has been pierced through the tail of each fish; a stick across ten or twelve fish have been hung. Often used as dog-food.
A sharp-edged flesh and hair scraper made from the leg bone (below the knee) of an animal, often the moose. Small fleshers are made from the bones of smaller animals.
The highest level at which water will rise when rivers or lakes are flooded beyond normal levels.
The amount of space between water and the upper edge (gunwale) of the side of a canoe or boat.
The time of year when rivers and lakes freeze over; the onset of the winter season.
A parasitic growth on trees, shrubs, and soil, including moulds, rust, mildew, smut, mushrooms, and bacteria.
green log:
A newly fallen or harvested live tree, still moist with resin and water.
An upland bird; year-round resident of the boreal forest.
Throat or esophagus of a grouse.
The sap of trees.
gunnel (gunwale):
The upper edge of the side of a boat or canoe.
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