Way of Life
Moving from summer to winter campsites was important to the Beothuk way of life. The Beothuk probably saw themselves as keepers of the land, meaning that they had to look after all forms of life in order to survive. By moving around on their lands each season, the Beothuk ensured that they would always have a rich and plentiful diet. This is because they would hunt and fish in different areas during certain seasons. For instance, each spring the Beothuk would fish only until the fish spawned. In the fall, they would stop hunting caribou when the time came for the caribou to have their babies. When trapping beaver, the Beothuk would leave when the beaver were about to have their young. In this way, the Beothuk ensured that the animals and food supply had a chance to renew and remain plentiful.
When the Beothuk were alive, Newfoundland had only nine species of animals on which the Beothuk could survive. The caribou was the most important of these animals, but the people also relied on the food that came from the ocean and the rivers. During the summer months, the Beothuk would live near inlets and coves, fishing for salmon. Sometimes they would hunt seals, porpoises and whales in the ocean.