The Beothuk occupied the territory of present-day Newfoundland. They were the first Indigenous group to come in contact with Europeans - first the Viking explorers and then the European whalers and fishermen. Unfortunately we don't know much about the Beothuk because they became extinct: no longer in existence.extinct soon after European contact. They used to smear red paint made from powdered ochre: any of various earths ranging in colouring from pale yellow to orange, brown and red, used as pigmentsochre and grease over their bodies, clothes and utensils. This may have been partly for warmth and partly for religious reasons. When the Europeans saw this, they called them "Red Indians" - a term which was applied to all Indigenous North American peoples for a long time afterwards.

Bethuk Territory

The Beothuk economy was mostly coastal. They depended on the sea for much of their diet, collecting shellfish, harpooning seals and whales and catching cod and other fish. When the Europeans took over the coasts for their own fishing stations, they forced the Beothuk into the harsh interior where those who didn't succumb to European diseases died of starvation. The Europeans observed that the Beothuk went inland in winter to hunt for caribou: any of several kind of North American reindeercaribou which they stored by freezing or smoking. They also collected birds' eggs which they stored by drying.

They lived in cone-shaped dwellings called mamateeks made from poles covered in birchbark. In winter they added extra layers of bark insulated with moss and they slept in hollows carved out of the ground around the fire.

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