First Nations Contributions to Technology


Reigan Allison, Contributing Writer

The First Nations has heavily influenced technology over the centuries. They have always used the environment around them to create new technologies. They have figured out the best ways to preserve the environment around them, only using what they need. Everything they take is put to use and nothing is ever wasted. The First Nations care for the environment and make sure it will be preserved for generations after them.

Fishing has played a big role in the First Nations lifestyle. The First Nations thought of many different ways that were efficient to catch their fish. They became creative and decided to use rocks and the tide to catch their fish. They built a small wall near the shore with the rocks, when the tide went up fish would go into the traps. As the tide went back down many fish would get trapped. They could go in and pick out the fish which would be best to use. The ones that weren’t useful to them could go back into the water when the tide went up again.

In the northwest coast a resource that flourished is red ochre. Red ochre is composed of iron oxide, and hematite. It can be mixed with other pigments to make a paint. A big part of the First Nations culture was their artwork. They used artwork to make their regalia unique, painted totem poles and bentwood boxes, and they created pictographs that would be there for future generations to see. They learned to use parts of nature to do their artwork. At the time they didn’t have a paint store they could run down to so they had to use what was around them.

Cedar bark was a resource used by many First Nation groups for a variety of things. First Nations strip the cedar bark off of the trees and soak it to make it flexible and stretchy. They often used it to make clothing and blankets. They would also use it to make covers for their shelters. It was good for when they were travelling for their seasonal rounds. They could roll it up and easily transport it. Yellow cedar bark was also used as medicine. It is known to contain an anti-inflammatory agent so it was used for wounds. Cedar bark was used to make totem poles, canoes, baskets, and ropes.

Canoes played a big role in the First Nations lifestyle. When the First Nations began trading the canoes were there main mode of transportation. To make a canoe the First Nations cut down and carved a cedar tree. They then painted it, sometimes with red ochre. They painted symbols and designs that represented who they are.

First Nations have always been very respectful of the environment around them. They are very smart and creative. They use the resources around them to create new technology. They have made a big contribution to the technology we have today.