What were the chief characteristics of the Algonquian Peoples?

Algonquian Indians
T.M. Martin/National Archives of Canada/C-90370.


The Algonquin, the Cree, the Ojibwa, the Micmac, the Naskapi, the Abenaki, 
and the Montagnais are important Algonquian nations who lived in the northern forests of Eastern Canada.

Characteristics of the Algonquians
  • They were nomadic meaning they moved their camp site from place to place in their search for food. 
  • The men hunted and fished. The women gathered berries, roots and seeds.
  • They lived in wigwams or tents covered with birch-bark or animal skins. Clothes were made from animal skins and furs. 
  • In summer they travelled using canoes. In winter they used snowshoes and toboggans.
  • Their social structure was a patriarchy, which means that the men were the leaders and the heads of the family.
  • They believed in spirits and in the forces of nature. The medicine man or shaman had a prominent place in society since it was believed that he had the power to expel evil spirits and to influence the powerful forces of nature.
Go on to the Iroquoians.