Historically among subarctic Aboriginal groups, the toboggan was a common means of hauling small loads or people over snow. Typically, toboggans were constructed of two or more thin boards of larch or birch wood, secured to one another by crossbars, with the boards turned up at the front. The wood was bent while still green or wet, then held in position by lashing until the wood dried. The Inland TLINGIT
steamed the planks. Well adapted to light powder snow but useless in wet snow, toboggans were replaced by canoe-sleds during spring thaw. They were pulled by dogs or by people. Among the CHIPEWYAN
toboggans were pulled by women. In addition to its recreational use, the toboggan may still serve the same purpose but has generally been replaced by the skidoo or other motorized sleds. See also BOBSLEDDING
Near Montreal, Que, 1850. Watercolour by J. Duncan (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-40254).
Inuit children on the sledge (photo by Charles Gimpel, courtesy Library and Archives Canada/e002394517).
RENÉ R. GADACZ
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge
The website for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge, which features Canada's largest essay writing competition for Aboriginal youth (ages 14-29) and a companion program for those who prefer to work through painting, drawing and photography. See their guidelines, teacher resources, profiles of winners, and more. From the Historica-Dominion Institute.
Native Technology in the Fur Trade
This teacher's guide highlights innovative native technology. From the York Region District School Board.