Man’s first presence in the Americas can be traced back to the late Pleistocene period when hunters arrived from Siberia by way of a land bridge across the Bering Strait. Agriculture provided the basis for advanced civilizations in several parts of the preColumbine Americas, but not in the area of Canada. The only agriculture there was restricted to the St. Lawrence valley and southern Ontario and remained on a primitive level. The general picture of prehistoric Canada is of a sparsely populated area with perhaps less than a quarter of a million people spread in accordance with the abundance of edible wild life. Technological and social developments occurred in response to geographical and ecological conditions, and by the time of the arrival of Europeans the Canadian Indians had a material culture well-adapted to local conditions. The possibility of borrowing from this culture considerably eased the penetration of Canada by Europeans. In return the Indians received new goods, some improving their material living standards (e.g., metal axes, pots and firearms), others destroying them (e.g., alcoholic drinks and European diseases).