Trade and Travel

Map an Indigenous trade and travel route along Canada’s first highway, navigating waterways from Kingston to Mexico.

Program Details

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Trade and Travel


Computer for each student; Trade and Travel Activity Instructions.pdf
  • Listen to: This CBC Secret Life of Canada episode (50 minutes) explores Indigenous trade routes that relied on water and enabled Indigenous people from Turtle Island to trade with those in Mexico (How corn got to North America). Canada’s first highway also laid the framework for routes used in the fur trade. In this way it can be thought of as the foundation Canada was built upon.
  • Use the map of North America in the Trade and Travel Activity Instructions. pdf to map a route from Kingston, Ontario, Canada to Tampico, Mexico and calculate the distance between the two points via major waterways. To do this, students will tape a string over their route and, using the scale of the map, calculate the distance of the journey.
  • As an extension, students can use to calculate their canoe route more accurately and compare their results. Discuss why their results might be different. Students can also use this site to calculate the amount of energy expelled to canoe their chosen route.
  • Activity instructions in Trade and Travel Activity Instructions.pdf

Activity adapted from: “The Secret Life of Water”