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Native Strategies for Surviving The Winter

Like all indigenous peoples, the Native Americans had developed ways to adapt to their environment, including the winters. They had "layered" clothing that was so effective it was used by the military to deal with it much later. In the coldest place on earth, the Arctic, they could use snow and ice to build shelters. All native Americans were skilled at constructing sturdy, long-lasting shelters out of natural materials that were sometimes mobile like the traditional tipis (tee-pees) you've seen in movies, often big enough to house entire families.

They used local resources, sometimes very high in fat to meet their caloric needs during cold weather, to hunt and gather food. They were in a grocery store where a white man might go hungry. Some tribes also relocated yearly, first for the winter to more livable regions, then returning in the spring. Lastly, and this isn't something that is frequently mentioned, their cultures required sharing within a community. Nobody went hungry while others had an abundance of food. It seems like we've forgotten that.

The video below goes into detail on how the indigenous survived the winter:


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