First Nations

By Ashlee Hildebrand


I'm Ashlee and I am doing my project on the Plateau. I will be talking about their shelter and clothing. They are a very interesting and unique group. If you want to find out more about these incredible people read on.

What are First Nations?

First Nations are original peoples. They are our native tribes. They are people with customs and cultural practices that are still alive.

The Plateau People Groups

The Plateau people are found between the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and British Columbia. Here are the groups in the Plateau Region:

  • Ktunaxa
  • Nlaka'pamux
  • Tsilhqot'in
  • Carrier
  • Nicola
  • Secwepemc
  • Stl'atl'imx
  • Okanagan

The Plateau Peoples Houses

A model pit house at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria

Most pit houses were 8 to 10 metres across and 1.5 metres deep – a large pit house could be 20 metres across and hold up to 30 people.


Plateau's Peoples Art

Plateau peoples rock paintings or pictographs were common in the southern of British Columbia. The paint was made out of red ochre pigments mixed with animal oil or fish eggs. They were paintings of human or animal forms, or spiritual figures (such as the picture on the right).


How the plateau people got knowledge

How the first nations got knowledge was by stories. They passed it down starting with the Elders then to the parents then to their kids. Without knowledge the first nations would die because they would need to hunt and take care of the children. Without knowing what to do, you would die.



Environmental Conditions

Growing plants

Gathering Plants of the Plateau

People gathered plants in spring and came back home in the winter. The women did all the gathering. They would gather berries, roots, and bulbs for food, some medicine and to make dye for paint. They gathered and ate many local berries, one was raspberries. After picking the berries they dried them and kept them for winter months.


How The Plateau region got water

The Plateau people collected their water from rivers, lakes and streams.



Plateau Peoples Family

Th people of the plateau traveled in family groups. The men and women had different responsibilities. The men were decision makers, hunters, trappers, fishers and a tool maker. The women had to prepare the food, harvest the plants, caring for the kids and making clothes.


Plateau Peoples Beliefs

Plateau people believed in a great spirit that ruled over animals and trees they also had a great connection with the environment. The Plateau people also had a Power Song. They had a Spirit Dance too.The plateau people believed that nature is sacred. Children who are 7 - 8 years old would walk in the wilderness and stayed overnight by themselves seeking spiritual power these vision quests were very important to boys. They had east symbols of peace and light. The plateau people used spiritual stories to explain natural activities.

Where The Plateau people Live Now

The Plateau people now are found in South Okanagan, and still between British Columbia and Alberta.