Pre-European Contact

Where are abouts are they from?

Well, the Algonquin people lived mostly in Quebec and a little wee bit in Ontario and the United States, near Lake Ontario.


In the summer it was very hot and very humid, I imagine they sweat a lot. In the winter it was cold and dry, temperatures range from -10 to -20, also taking in for account the windchill factor. They got 200-300mm of snow each year, as for rain they got on average 70mm in January, 75mm in April, 90mm in July, and 75mm in October.

Flora and Fauna

The plant life in the region where the Algonquins lived consisted of mixed forests, bulrushes, reed grass, wild grass, and fortunately grains, vegetables and fruit. Now, on to Fauna, they had fishies such as pike, bass, walleye, perch, and trout. As for land mammals there were deer, river otters, beavers, mink, muskrat, weasels, coyotes, wolves, snowshoe hares and red foxes. I think having all those animals such as beavers would've provided them with nice warm clothing.


The land had many plains, The Quebec Plain, The Trois-Rivieres Plain, and Montreal Plain. They also had the Monteregian Hills, along with many rivers.

Howdy Neighbours!

Other aboriginal groups that lived fairly close to our Algonquin friends were the Abenaki, and the Iroquois.

Shelter From the Storm

Everybody needs a home! The Algonquin lived in these neat little homes called wigmans, they were made out of trees, go figure, they used tree bark, and saplings. Bending the saplings into a dome shape then tying them together, following that they put layers of bark over the structure, and there you have it folks, a wigman.


Algonquin clothing was made of furs, hides, and feathers, namely moose, deer, beaver, muskrat and bear. During the summer men wore a lion cloth made of moose or deer hide so they could cover their junk, women wore tunic style dresses. In the winter the women sewed sleeves on the dresses and made moose or deerskin leggings, this stylish people topped off their outfits with moccasins.


First off you should know these people were hunters and gathers. They hunted deer and moose, rabbits and birds, then put them in soup. Combing meat and berries to make a dish called pimikan. As you'd expect the men did the hunting and women did the gathering of berries and preparing the food.

Gettin' Around

Tired of trying to walk through snow? Use snowshoes like the Algonquins. Don't want to swim up that river? I bet the Algonquin's didn't want to either, so they made canoes out of birch bark.

Dividing the Work

When it comes to the "house keeping" aspect of the Algonquin society, men protected the group and hunted. Now, the women gathered berries and mint to make mint tea!(: they also made the clothing and cared for the children of the tribe.

Men, Men, Men

The Algonquin people followed a patrilocal system, which meant that when a women married she moved into her husband place. This meant people often hoped to have boys, because they would have those men to protect and hunt for the community. As you may have already guessed, the men were in power, which means they were a patriachal society, and relationships were based on male's side meaning they were also patrilineal. Unlike the Huron, men owned the property. The chief in an Algonquin community was called Ogima, and the role of the chief stayed within one family. Chiefs did not have sole authority over the clan, he was a spokesperson really. All members in the community were involved in decision making, it was a cooperative thing. This is how it worked, the people would get together and discuss what to do about a certain problem and the group would all come to a final solution.