Habits and customs

Beaver skins
Beaver skins

Nomadic life had a direct effect on the habits and customs of our nation.  Around family life and migration over our immense territories, the centuries saw to it that we soon established our customs.  Living habits are numerous and touch many areas, particularly hunting.

For example: the quest for bear.  Our ancestors had customs and beliefs about the hunting of bear.  When a bear presents itself in front of a hunter, the latter thanks Tshishe Manitu for placing this animal on his path.  He knows that the Creator has put it before him to serve his needs and those of his family.  Once the bear is killed, he again thanks Tshishe Manitu by placing tobacco in his muzzle.  Then, he starts to butcher the animal.

Video - Bannock
Bannock (Duration: 40 sec.)
© Florent Bégin

One of the particular characteristics of this hunt, is the importance for the Pekuakamiulnuatsh to conduct this ritual with the greatest respect for the animal.  Clearly, the fur is conserved, the meat is eaten, the fat is used for many functions and certain bones are transformed into tools, etc.  In addition, the skull and other important bones of the animal are then hung on a tree in gratitude and respect for the animal.  Others also say that the tree was thus ornamented, in order to advise other families that there had been a successful hunt at this location.