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Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life

Date > 1500

Canada's First Warriors

Type: Interactive ResourceDocument

A slide show presentation of Native American dress from the 16th to mid-18th century.

Site: National Defence

Typical town of the north-eastern Amerindians

Type: Image

These towns nearly always featured long bark covered houses encircled by a log stockade wall for protection. Print inspired from John White’s late 16th century renderings.

Site: National Defence

Portuguese archer and, at left, a crossbowman, early 16th century

Type: Image

Archers and crossbowmen were commonly found on ships and in the early overseas settlements of the first half of the 16th century. Such soldiers were most likely part of the early Portuguese forays to Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island. (Museu de Arte Antiguo, Lisbon)

Site: National Defence

Sir Humphrey Gilbert cutting the first sod in Newfoundland in August 1583

Type: Image

Sir Humphrey Gilbert's British colony on Newfoundland failed partially because the colonists were more anxious to find silver mines than to plant crops. On 5 August 1583, Sir Humphrey claimed the island in a ceremony that involved his holding a twig of a hazel tree and a sod of earth. That winter, the explorer sailed back to England and was lost at sea when his ship sank in a storm.

Site: National Defence

A Commemorative History of Aboriginal People in the Canadian Military

Type: Document

This history on our Aboriginal Peoples and their contribution to Canada’s rich military heritage is the latest in a series of books prepared by the Director of History and Heritage commemorating especial military experience. Authors : P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Ph.D., R. Scott Sheffield, Ph.D., John Moses, Maxime Gohier

Site: National Defence

From Footmen To Soldiers

Type: Document

Professional soldiers were a recent development in the Europe of 1500. They fought for pay, not for loot or feudal obligation, and could have firearms as weapons.

Site: National Defence

English sailor, 1570s

Type: Image

A fur cap and baggy breeches were characteristic items of clothing of English sailors during the late 16th century.

Site: National Defence

Soldiers Of The Canadian Expeditions

Type: Document

The soldiers accompanying early expeditions worked for private businesses, not for the state. Many were veterans of European wars, or gentlemen seeking land or gold.

Site: National Defence

Sixteenth-century Amerindian warriors from central Canada

Type: Image

Three types of costumes common to all Amerindian tribes are shown. Reconstruction by David Rickman. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

The Enlistment Of Soldiers

Type: Document

Soldiers were organized into companies of about 50. Their leader, the company captain, was responsible for recruiting, training and disciplining his men.

Site: National Defence