Northern California mountain ranges have been a temperate rainforest
for hundreds of thousands of years. Since back when dinosaurs roamed
the land, and the Pacific Ocean actually filled in much of the Central
Valley making the Northern Mountain ranges beachfront property, the
northern reaches of the state have had their own unique bio-climates.
This climate shaped the earliest human life in Northern California,
and continues to shape life there today in many of the same ways.
What materials you build your house of, the type of clothing you wear,
the food you eat - these are all factors in a lifeway shaped by the
Native American life in these mountains has been a continuous thread
of habitation for at least 6,000 years. The landscape, the climate,
and the people have formed a different lifeway than elsewhere in California,
and we will study the Shasta tribe as an example of these temperate
rainforest peoples in this learning unit.
There have been many tribes living in this region for many generations.
To help us study the life of Native Americans in the Northern California
Backcountry, we will focus on different aspects of Shasta tribal living
to learn more about their ways of life.