Type: Research
Pages: 4 | Words: 921
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Irrespective of the great size of Canada, it is one of the states in the world that have sparse population. The population in Canada and the landscape are central to the Canadian national identity. The history attached to the First Nations people is linked to the physical identity of Canada. The vastness of the land, the climate, vegetation and the landforms define the ancient culture, linguistic division and the ancient people of Canada. The environments of six Physiographic regions of Canada that include Western Cordillera, Interior Plains, Canadian Shield, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands, Atlantic and Gulf Region, and the North shape the cultures of the Native Peoples living in each of those areas.

The western cordillera has several mountains belts that occupy a distance of about 500 miles located along the southern pacific. The heights of these mountains and the angularity peaks go beyond 10,000 feet high. Compared to the Appalachians, they are lower. The Rocky Mountains account for the eastern portion of western Cordillera that start at the Yukon border and go on towards the United States of America. To add on to this, five of the Canadian national parks are located in this region. The features of western Cordillera affected the cultural life of the people living there. The people of the Western Cordillera had a sedentary lifestyle. It is characterized by chiefdoms and social class stratifications. A chief led up to 200 people put together in terms of a clan.

The interior plains had a buffalo culture that had lived for a thousand years. They lived in extended families and practised hunting and gathering. A leader of the people in the plains was chosen through a system of consent. People had to agree to elect a leader. One could not assume leadership based on dictatorship or personal will because the people had the power to choose their leader. They had seasonal gatherings meant for social functions. People met in the plains for gambling, renewal of social ties and games among other activities. Councils and ceremonies were performed for important people in the society. For instance, men and women who had special skills in hand craft, hunting and gathering were praised in these ceremonies. They engaged in trade often changing things such as obsidian from the Rocky Mountains, pemmican and Columella.

The Canadian Shield is the largest physiographic portion of Canada. It occupies almost half of the whole country. It has rocks that are among the oldest rocks in the entire world. They were formed by movements that formed mountain buildings and the erosions that reduced the area to plains. Most of the shields in the area lie below 2000 feet. The lack of hills, in the area, account for the flat landscape. The glaciations activities also affected the scenery roughening it to rock-knob landscape. The Canadian Shield has several minerals that include silver, gold and copper. The Canadian Shield had diverse climates that needed different lifestyles. Some people lived semi-sedentary lives along Algonquian bands while others led a nomadic life in Caribou and Bison. They had no political centrality. They had seasonal groupings that coexisted through mutual cooperation.

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands is comprised of the peninsula in south Ontario and several lakes including Erie, Ontario and Huron. It goes further to St. Lawrence River up to the Atlantic Ocean. It has fertile and a cultivatable landscape. The people of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands were organised into political alliances. They had chiefs, clans, village councils, national council and confederacies. This system maintained communal harmony and subsistence. The semi-sedentary agricultural lifestyle of the people led to population increase because the landscape provided for a diversity of food. For instance, the Huron and Iroquois crops are grown extensively in the region.

The Atlantic and Gulf Region had a similar cultural arrangement as the Canadian Shield. The people of the Atlantic and Gulf Region had a sedentary life and were led by chiefdoms. They had social hierarchies that were inherited. The chiefs distributed the resources to the community. They also practised fishing, trapping and gathering. They lived in small groups of about 25 people. These groups moved from one place to another, within a defined territory. This is because food supplies changed from season to season caused by the availability or unavailability of rains. Despite the fact that these groups had chiefs leading them, the chiefs did not have formal authority over the people. people aligned themselves to people who showed leadership abilities. This means that most men and women were given an opportunity to make decisions that affected their group. Families or individuals who did not agree with certain decisions were free to leave and join other groups of their choice.

The North was also influenced in the same way the other five physiographic regions were. The people were organised into small groups headed by chosen leaders. Hunting and gathering was also practised in the North.

Therefore, the physiographic regions influenced the culture of the people who lived in the six regions. The physical characteristics forced the people to take up certain ways of life like hunting, gathering or agriculture. The climatic patterns also decided whether people could stay in one place or move from one place to another. This meant that the people had to make decisions on their cultural issues including leadership and guidance purposes. The leaders would then help in the determination of important issues, in those areas. Therefore, the environmental differences and similarities of the six areas influenced the culture of the people in similar and different ways as explained above.

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