The Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples: Indians (more commonly referred to as First Nations), Inuit and Métis.
Aboriginal. The term “ Aboriginal ” refers to the first inhabitants of Canada, and includes First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. This term came into popular usage in Canadian contexts after 1982, when Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution defined the term as such.
Major ethnicities include the: Anishinaabe. Algonquin. Nipissing. Haudenosaunee ( Iroquois ) Cayuga (Guyohkohnyo) Mohawk (Kanien’kéhaka) Oneida (Onayotekaono) Onondaga (Onundagaono) Seneca (Onondowahgah) Tuscarora (Ska-Ruh-Reh) Munsee branch of the Lenape (Delawares) Neutral. Petun (Tobacco) Wyandot (Huron)
The largest of the Indian groups is the Cree, which includes some 120,000 people. In Canada the word Indian has a legal definition given in the Indian Act of 1876.
In the northwest were the Athapaskan-speaking peoples, Slavey, Tłı̨chǫ, Tutchone-speaking peoples, and Tlingit. Along the Pacific coast were the Haida, Salish, Kwakiutl, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nisga’a and Gitxsan. In the plains were the Blackfoot, Kainai, Sarcee and Northern Peigan.
I’m not ‘ Indian,’ I’m Native American, Indigenous, or First Nations. A good rule of thumb for this is when referring to Natives, call us Native American, Indigenous, First Nations, or by our specific band or tribe if you want some extra Ally Points, and just let Natives call each other Indian.
Well, under the Indian Act, First Nations people do not own their own land, instead it’s held for them by the government. Because of this policy, First Nations people who currently live on reserve do not enjoy the same property rights as every other Canadian.
But less than 500 years ago, the only people living in Canada were the Aboriginal people of Canada. “Aboriginal” means the original inhabitants, the people who were here first. The words “Native” or “Indigenous” are also used, and mean the same thing.
Spiritual Beliefs All First Nations believed that their values and traditions were gifts from the Creator. One of the most important and most common teachings was that people should live in harmony with the natural world and all it contained.
Any individual can self- identify as an Aboriginal person if they believe they are related to, or descended from, the Original peoples of Canada. ontariocolleges.ca acknowledges that applicants may prefer to identify using different terms that more accurately reflect their own definition or perception of identity.
Under letters patent from King Henry VII of England, the Italian John Cabot became the first European known to have landed in Canada after the Viking Age. Records indicate that on June 24, 1497 he sighted land at a northern location believed to be somewhere in the Atlantic provinces.
Many First Nations people lived in Ontario and the western provinces, but they made up the largest shares of the total population of the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The City of Toronto acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
Ontario has the largest Indigenous population in Canada ( 374,395 )*. The second largest Indigenous population is in British Columbia ( 270,580 ).