Caribou are large members of the deer family, who live in herds across the tundra in the north. Subarctic First Nations depended on the caribou for food, clothing, tools and much more. Few animals can survive harsh tundra conditions.
Caribou feed on grasses in the summer. In the winter they dig through the snow to feed on moss and lichen. The hollow hoof is like a snow scoop perfect for digging out the snow to get at the food below.
Caribou herds migrate thousands of km across routes they travel year after year. The predictability of the herds meant that northern indigenous people could count on survival by hunting the caribou for food and clothing.