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The Yellowknives are a small tribe of Indians that are a part of a much larger grouping of Indians known as the sub-arctic Indians As you see the sub-arctic Indian land area is immense and extends across the whole northern top of Canada and extends westward to Alaska The Sub-arctic culture area stretches from the Labrador Sea to within a few miles of the Bering Sea and encompasses six Canadian Provinces two Territories as well as much of Alaska The northern boundary between Arctic and Sub-arctic shows up in the vegetation change from treeless tundra Arctic to forests evergreens in the west and evergreens mixed with deciduous species in the southeast The area is a vast harsh one within which to live a land of physiographic and seasonal climatic extremes The climate is characterized by short warm bright summers low precipitation and long exceedingly cold winters The vegetation and topography are varied from mountains to swampy coniferous forests from high plateaus and prairies to lakes swamps and rivers Vegetation in the forests includes spruce birch aspen cottonwood and pine to name a few Vegetation edible by humans is very sparse but berries of many kinds are plentiful including blueberries cranberries gooseberries serviceberries and raspberries In the forests game of many different kinds abounds including moose some deer and elk woodland caribou along with various fur-bearing animals In the many streams and lakes fish are plentiful and include salmon pike whitefish and other anadromous and freshwater species Migratory waterfowl visit the region by the tens of thousands in spring and fall Although regarded as an uninviting and unforgiving land by non-natives explorers traders missionaries governmental agents it has been home for many thousands of years to Native people whose twentieth century descendants speak Algonquian or Athapaskan or more recently French or English httpwwwcabrillocccauscrsmithanth7subarctichtml The Yellowknives have a fascinating past that in keeping with tradition should be shared and retold over generations to come This sub-arctic
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