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Ojibwe Snowshoe

Class Details

3 Hours

4th Grade to Adult


How did Ojibwe people in Minnesota 270 years ago live and travel in the winter?

Students will be introduced to Ojibwe history, seasonal lifestyle, and use of natural resources. After learning the basics of snowshoes, they will travel on snowshoes to a recreated Ojibwe site of 250 years ago, learning about the value and uses of five different kinds of trees along the way. They tour a summer home, then settle into a winter home to view tools, listen to legends and practice the simple skills of flint and steel use and twine making from basswood bark. Another snowshoe hike returns them to the classroom for a short conclusion.

Lesson Plan


  1. The environment influences human actions; and humans both adapt to, and change, the environment.
  2. Food, resource availability, and terrain were major factors in the seasonal lifestyle of the Ojibwe people on the North Shore 270 years ago.
  3. Technology and development must be appropriate to the resources available in an area.
  4. Using physical skills allows us to reach remote natural areas, and gain a sense of place.
  5. Different cultures hold varying beliefs on environmental issues.


  • Compare and contrast different materials and styles of snowshoes.
  • Show ability to maneuver across the snow on snowshoes.
  • Identify some of the natural resources used by the Ojibwe of 270 years ago.
  • Give examples of some techniques used by the Ojibwe during winter.
  • Compare the seasonal lifestyle of the Ojibwe with the student’s own.
  • Evaluate and choose aspects of traditional Ojibwe lifestyle to combine with our own, and incorporate into our daily lives.