We have very little information about Native 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.

Where does our knowledge of Native people come from?

The fact that there were no documents written by Native 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 Native 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 Native societies today and the oral traditions that they had maintained.

Author: Alexandre Lanoix