Montagnais-Naskapi - Settlements

The Montagnais built conical, pole-framed, birchbark wigwams, and the Naskapi built conical, caribou-skin-covered tipis; both dwelling types featured a smoke-hole located over a central fireplace. Traditionally, the Montagnais-Naskapi were seminomadic peoples whose seasonal pattern of movement brought them together from dispersed bands and lodge groups into large festive gatherings during the short Labrador summer. The locations of the summer gatherings were the shores of the large interior lakes and the mouths of the rivers that emptied into the St. Lawrence River and Gulf, Hudson and James bays, and Davis and Hamilton inlets. At the end of the summer the Montagnais-Naskapi moved inland for the long winter season and dispersed into smaller regional bands and lodge groups. Following contact, European trading posts became the focus of the summer gatherings. As the importance of the trade in furs and European goods grew in the Montagnais-Naskapi economy, seasonal movements centered increasingly on maintaining access to the trading posts. Eventually, groups attached themselves to specific trading posts, and by the mid-1900s permanent native settlements had emerged.

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