Each of the items shown below were invented or first discovered by First Nations and Inuit. Under each image there is more information about these amazing discoveries and contributions!
The active ingredient in pain relievers such as Aspirin was known to First Nations for centuries. It is found in species of the willow tree, including the pussy willow.
A tea made with the whole blackberry plant was used by First Nations to treat sicknesses such as dysentery, cholera and upset stomach.
Corn is a staple food that was cultivated by First Nations for thousands of years. Today it is grown all around the world, and has many uses.
Pine tree tea
Pine trees were used by First Nations to make a tea that helped relieve coughs. Many cough syrups today use the same ingredient.
Inuit developed bone, antler and ivory goggles to prevent blinding snow glare while they hunted.
First Nations created the game of lawn darts using shucked new green corn with its kernels removed. Feathers were attached to the darts.
First Nations discovered the first chewing gum, which was collected from spruce trees.
First Nations used olefin hydrocarbons and methane to make petroleum jelly, and used it to hydrate and protect animal and human skin.
Tree bark and needles
First Nations shared their cure for scurvy with European newcomers. The bark and needles of the hemlock or pine tree are boiled to make a vitamin C tonic.
Many kinds of snowshoes were developed by First Nations, Métis and Inuit. A very common style was made from spruce and rawhide thongs.
Wild Rice is actually a cereal grain. It was misnamed by European newcomers. Wild rice was sometimes presented as a treasured gift to fur traders as a symbol of friendship by First Nations and Métis.
Canoes are a First Nations invention. Traditionally made of bark and pitch, they varied in size depending on what they were needed for. Today the canoe is used throughout the world.