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The Native People of Canada
The Peoples of the Plateau
The Inuits
The Iroquois
The Plains
The Plateau
The Northwest Coast

     The Interior of B.C. is where the Plateau groups  resided. Shuswap, Lillooet, Okanogon, Ktunaya, and more are all groups that are apart of this region. It is possiblethat they existed over 3000 years ago in 1700 BCE, coming from other parts of Canada and the USA.

The Plateau Culture Area

     The location of the Plateau groups is situated in an area where the winters are cold and dry. Plateau people have adapted to this, by living partially underground in a house unique to them - a pithouse. These pit houses are their marquee, as no other cultural group lives in them. First, a pit was dug with a diameter of between 6-8 metres (can be up to the largest one in record though - 20 metres in diameter). The rafters held up a "roof" of bark, earth and sod., which in result made the house dark inside. To keep warm, a fireplace was made in the centre of it, directly underneath a vent hole in the ceiling. Even though these pit houses were re-used, they had to be abandoned when the roof would start to rot, or they would get infested by "un-welcomed guests" (insects, rats/mice, snakes, etc). Tents were used in the summer and spring when the Plateau people were on the move around the region.

     Salmon was a very important source to the people of the Plateau as it was the main food that they subsisted on. Plants, berries and edible roots such as wild onion, wild lily bublbs, and balsam root were also important essensials of food. Earth ovens were used to roast them as it helped preserved the flavour for the wintertime when they weren't growing fresh. Deer was used not just for food, but for clothing as well.
     All articles of clothing were made from deer hide. Moccasins, on the other hand, were either made from deer hide or salmon skin, depending on your importance and wealth. For those who are middle class to low class (average) then you wore salmon skin moccasins, and the bearing of deer skin moccasions indicated that you were important and wealthy.

     These semi-nomadic people, traded with other cultures. In result of this, the Ktunaya adapted parts of the Plains culture, includin the Sun Dance and living primarily on bison.

copyright 2004 Jessica Kalynn