The Northwest and the Arctic
• Describe how the people of the Pacific
Northwest adapted to their environment
and used the area’s resources to meet
their needs.
• Understand how the peoples of the Arctic
survived in a cold climate with limited
Northwest Coast
People of the Northwest Coast
The people that lived here
and were dependent on
the ocean as their primary
source of food. Instead of
hunting and gathering
plants – fished for salmon
and whales.
Whale meat could be
used as food and the oil
melted down and burned
for oil.
The Kwakiutl only captured whales that
had become stranded on the shore.
The Makah hunted the whales in large
dugout boats with spears.
Why do you think these people did not farm?
Resources and Trade
Wood was a useful resource to the people of the Northwest Coast – dishes,
spoons, totem poles.
The giant trees of the Northwest Coast provided many groups with wood for
houses, tools, and boast.
Their longhouses were like the Iroquois, but larger. All members of the family, or
clan, lived in one house.
Economy – is the way the people of a state, region, or country use their resources to meet
their needs.
The Dallas and Potlatch
Trade was an essential part of life for these tribes.
Although they spoke different languages, they did develop a
unique language for trade. This language was made up of
mixed words from many Indian languages.
The trade language allowed them to barter, or exchange
All the natural resources made these groups rich, and they
had large celebrations. A potlatch celebration was meant to
show wealth and divide property among the people. It was a
celebration of with dancing, food, and speeches. Potlatch
means “to give”.
Why would trade lead to the development of such a language?
Lands of the North
The Arctic is the region near the North Pole. It is mostly a flat plain
that stays frozen year round.
The Aleut and the Inuit developed
skills to adjust to life in the frozen
Arctic regions of Alaska and
Northern Canada. The Cree lived as
hunter-gatherers in the sub-Artic
areas of Canada.
These peoples most important natural
resources were animals such as foxes,
caribou, polar bears, walruses, seals.
And Ice!
Life in the Sub-Artic
The extended family was
an important part of the
Inuit and Aleut society.
These families, of 60300 people, formed
bands that came together
choices for the good of
the group.
When food was
scarce, the families
shared seal meat.
The rich natural resources of the Northwest helped
form a society based on hunting, gathering, and
trade. The Arctic and sub-Arctic people adapted to
life in a land with limited resources.