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First Nation Timeline

First Nations were the first people to live in New Brunswick and for thousands of years they had their own Nations, confederations, religion, philosophy of social order, land use and justice. Determining a population number for First Nations during this early time is very difficult because of their migratory lifestyle and the lack of permanent residences. The important thing to note is that for many centuries before contact with Europeans, the First Nations people had thoroughly explored and travelled over the area that later became New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Maine and Newfoundland and had a well-developed culture, religion, social behaviours, laws and customs.

Archaeologists believe that for thousands of years before contact with Europeans, the First People were hunters and gatherers who migrated seasonally seeking places where food was most readily available. At different times of the year they lived along the coast where fish, clams, wild birds and other foods were available and then traveled inland to hunt game such as moose, deer, beaver and bear. This constant movement did not result in the creation of permanent villages but led to the establishment of numerous residence sites used annually for various lengths of time.