About Us

Our Company

Beothuck Trailers Ltd. is based in Edmonton, Alberta and has been a family operated business since 1984. We are well known for our friendly, knowledgable, personalized service.

We are located South of the Sherwood Park Freeway (Wye Rd.) and East of 50th Street on the North side of 76th Avenue.

The Meaning Behind The Name

The Beothuck name originates from the name given to the group of aboriginal peoples who first inhabited the island of Newfoundland. The traditional spelling of the name is "Beothuk" without the 'c', hence the change in spelling when referring to the Beothuk peoples.

The Beothuk Peoples

The Beothuk aboriginals settled on the island of Newfoundland around 200 AD. They were tall, strong people with black hair which was braided, particularly at the back of their head. Similar to other indigenous tribes of the period, they dressed in animal hides and hunted with bows and arrows. The Indians covered their clothes, weapons, and bodies with a mixture of red ochre and oil because they believed the ochre had life-giving power. The oil and red ochre mixture protected them from insects in the summer and cold in the winter. They lived off the riches of the sea. It is believed that at one time more than a thousand Beothuk inhabited the island of Newfoundland.

In the 1700's, white settlers began to migrate to the island. The Beothuk tribe were forced to move from their summer homes to the remote regions (interior) of the island. Along with the settlers came tuberculosis and many of the Indians died.

There is little known of the Beothuk. Early settlers and two Beothuk women who were captured in the early 1800's provided the only information we have. They found that the Algonquin language is related to the Beothuks.

Desmasduit was one of the two women captured by settlers; while she was living in St. John, her portrait was painted. It is the only authenticated picture of a Beothuk Indian in existence. The people of Newfoundland had planned to befriend Desmasduit in order to learn more about the Beothuk. They wanted her to go back to her people and tell them that her captors had been friendly. Unfortunately, before she rejoined her people, she contacted tuberculosis and died. Her coffin was carried back to her people.

In 1823, a Beothuk girl of twenty years was captured. Shanawdithit Beothuk IndianShanawdithit lived with a family of settlers for five years. She was a gentle soul with a natural talent for drawing. She was afraid to return to her people because she feared that they would not forgive her for having lived with white people.

In 1827, W.E. Cormack realized Shanawdithit was probably the last surviving Beothuck. He took her with him to St. John's where she drew pictures that depicted earlier encounters between the natives and whites.

Shanawdithit died in 1829 from tuberculosis.

The people of the ochre became extinct with her passing.

The First Trailer

The travois was the principal means of transporting goods, camp equipment, small children, elders and the sick or injured for the North American native peoples.

It was the first trailer used in North America before the advent of wheels. It consisted of two log poles lashed one on either side of a horse, with the trailing ends dragging on the ground. Behind the horse, leather straps and wood crossmembers meshed between the two poles served as a carrying platform.

The image of horse and travois is a symbol of the inventiveness of human kind.

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Address Info
4110 76 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
T6B 2P1

Email: info@beothucktrailers.com
Ph.: 780-468-2417
Fax.: 780-440-1016


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