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Indigenous peoples in Canada (also known as Aboriginals) are the
indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
within the boundaries of Canada. They comprise the
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
,
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
and
Métis The Métis (; ) are Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...
. Although "Indian" is a term still commonly used in legal documents, the descriptors "Indian" and "
Eskimo Eskimo ( ) or Eskimos is a term used to refer to two closely related Indigenous peoples: The Inuit (including the Alaskan Iñupiat, the Greenlandic Inuit, and the Canadian Inuit) and the Yupik peoples, Yupik (or Siberian Yupik, Yuit) of eastern S ...

Eskimo
" have fallen into disuse in Canada, and most consider them to be
pejorative A pejorative or slur is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning ...
. "Aboriginal" as a
collective noun In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
is a specific
term of art Jargon is the specialized terminology Terminology is a general word for the group of specialized words or meanings relating to a particular field, and also the study of such terms and their use. This is also known as terminology science. Terms ...
used in some legal documents, including the ''
Constitution Act, 1982 The ''Constitution Act, 1982'' (french: link=no, Loi constitutionnelle de 1982) is a part of the Constitution of Canada.Formally enacted as Schedule B of the ''Canada Act 1982'', enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Section 60 of t ...
'', though in some circles that word is also falling into disfavour.
Old Crow Flats Old Crow Flats is a wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. These Biotic co ...
and
Bluefish Caves Bluefish Caves is an archaeological site in Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Provinces and territories of Canada, Canada's three territories. It also is ...
are some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Canada. The
Paleo-Indian Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleo-Americans, were the first peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a ...
Clovis Clovis may refer to: People * Clovis (given name), the early medieval (Frankish) form of the name Louis ** Clovis I (c. 466 – 511), the first king of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler ** Clovis II (c. 634 – c. 657), ...
, Plano and
Pre-DorsetThe Pre-Dorset is a loosely defined term for a Paleo-Eskimo The Paleo-Eskimo (also pre-Thule or pre-Inuit) were the peoples who inhabited the Arctic The Arctic ( or ) is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arcti ...
cultures pre-date the current Indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Projectile point In North American archaeological terminology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archae ...
tools,
spear A spear is a pole weapon A pole weapon or pole arm is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is fitted to the end of a long shaft, typically of wood, thereby extending the user's effective range and striking pow ...

spear
s,
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include , and . The place where such wares are mad ...

pottery
,
bangle Bangles are traditionally rigid bracelets A bracelet is an article of jewellery that is worn around the wrist. Bracelets may serve different uses, such as being worn as an ornament. When worn as ornaments, bracelets may have a wikt:supporti ...

bangle
s,
chisels A chisel is a tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tool A stone tool is, in the ...
and scrapers mark archaeological sites, thus distinguishing cultural periods, traditions, and
lithic reduction of flint-knapping Knapping is the shaping of flint Flint is a sedimentary rock, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as the variety of chert that occurs in chalk or marly limestone. Flint was widely used histor ...
styles. The characteristics of Indigenous culture in Canada included permanent settlements,
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
, civic and ceremonial
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
, complex , and
trading network Trade involves the transfer of goods and services, goods or services from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system or network that allows trade as a market (economics), market. An early form o ...
s. Métis of mixed ancestry originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European fur traders, primarily the French. The Inuit had more limited interaction with European settlers during that early period. Various
laws Law is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as oppose ...
,
treaties A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relati ...
, and legislation have been enacted between European immigrants and First Nations across Canada. Aboriginal Right to
Self-Government __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In systems ...
provides opportunity to manage historical, cultural, political, health care and economic control aspects within first people's communities. As of the
2016 census Sixteen or 16 may refer to: *16 (number), the natural number following 15 and preceding 17 *one of the years 16 BC, AD 16, 1916, 2016 Films * ''Pathinaaru'' or ''Sixteen'', a 2010 Tamil film * Sixteen (1943 film), ''Sixteen'' (1943 film), a 1943 ...
, Indigenous peoples in Canada totalled 1,673,785 people, or 4.9% of the national population, with 977,230 First Nations people, 587,545 Métis, and 65,025 Inuit. 7.7% of the population under the age of 14 are of Indigenous descent. ndigenous peoples in Canada: Key results from the 2016 Census/ref> There are over 600 recognized First Nations governments or
bands Band or BAND may refer to: Places *Bánd, a village in Hungary *Band, Iran, a village in Urmia County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran *Band, Mureș, a commune in Romania *Band-e Majid Khan, a village in Bukan County, West Azerbaijan Province, Ira ...
with distinctive cultures, languages, art, and music.2011 National Household Survey: Indigenous Peoples in Canada: First Nations People, Métis and Inuit
/ref> National Indigenous Peoples Day recognizes the cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples to the
history of Canada History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 millio ...
. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of all backgrounds have become prominent figures and have served as role models in the Indigenous community and help to shape the Canadian cultural identity.


Terminology

In Section 35 of the ''
Constitution Act, 1982 The ''Constitution Act, 1982'' (french: link=no, Loi constitutionnelle de 1982) is a part of the Constitution of Canada.Formally enacted as Schedule B of the ''Canada Act 1982'', enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Section 60 of t ...
'', Aboriginal peoples of Canada" includes the Indian,
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
, and
Métis The Métis (; ) are Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...
peoples. ''Aboriginal peoples'' is a legal term encompassing all Indigenous Peoples living in Canada. ''Aboriginal peoples'' has begun to be considered outdated and is slowly being replaced by the term ''Indigenous peoples''. There is also an effort to recognize each and every Indigenous group as distinct nations much like there are distinct European, African, and Asian cultures in their respective places. First Nations (most often used in the plural) has come into general use since the 1970s replacing "Indians" and "Indian Bands" in everyday vocabulary. However, on
reserves Reserve or reserves may refer to: Places * Reserve, Kansas, a US city * Reserve, Louisiana, a census-designated place in St. John the Baptist Parish * Reserve, Montana, a census-designated place in Sheridan County * Reserve, New Mexico, a US vil ...
, ''
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
'' is being supplanted by members of various nations referring to themselves by their group or ethnic identity. In conversation, this would be "I am
Haida Haida may refer to: Places * Haida, an old name for Nový Bor * Haida Gwaii, meaning "Islands of the People", formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands * Haida Islands, a different archipelago near Bella Bella, British Columbia Ships * , a 190 ...
," or "we are Kwantlens," in recognition of their First Nations ethnicities. Also coming into general use since the 1970s, First Peoples refers to all Indigenous groups, i.e. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis.


Native

Notwithstanding Canada's location within the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...

Americas
, the term Native American is not used in Canada as it is typically used solely to describe the Indigenous peoples within the boundaries of the present-day United States. Native Canadians was often used in Canada to differentiate this American term until the 1980s. In contrast to the more-specific Aboriginal, one of the issues with the term is its general applicability: in certain contexts, it could be used in reference to non-Indigenous peoples in regards to an individual place of origin/birth. For instance, people who were born or grew up in
Calgary Calgary Calgary ( ) is a city in the western Canadian province The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America ...

Calgary
may call themselves "Calgary natives," as in they are ''native'' to that city. With this in mind, even the term "native American," as another example, may very well indicate someone who is ''native to America'' rather than a person who is ethnically Indigenous to the boundaries of the present-day United States. In this sense, "native" may encompass a broad range of populations and is therefore not recommended.


Indian

The ''
Indian Act The ''Indian Act'' (, long name ''An Act to amend and consolidate the laws respecting Indians'') is a Canadian act of Parliament that concerns Indian Register, registered Indians, their bands, and the system of Indian reserves. First passed in ...
'' ( R.S.C., 1985, c. I-5) sets the legal term ''Indian'', designating that "a person who pursuant to this Act is registered as an Indian or is entitled to be registered as an Indian." Section 5 of the ''Act'' states that a registry shall be maintained "in which shall be recorded the name of every person who is entitled to be registered as an Indian under this Act." No other term is legally recognized for the purpose of registration and the term ''Indian'' specifically excludes reference to Inuit as per section 4 of the ''Act''. ''Indian'' remains in place as the legal term used in the
Canadian Constitution The Constitution of Canada (french: Constitution du Canada) is the supreme law in Canada. It outlines Canada's system of government and the civil and human rights of those who are citizens of Canada and non-citizens in Canada. Its contents ar ...
; however, its usage outside such situations can be considered offensive.


Eskimo

The term ''
Eskimo Eskimo ( ) or Eskimos is a term used to refer to two closely related Indigenous peoples: The Inuit (including the Alaskan Iñupiat, the Greenlandic Inuit, and the Canadian Inuit) and the Yupik peoples, Yupik (or Siberian Yupik, Yuit) of eastern S ...

Eskimo
'' has
pejorative A pejorative or slur is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning ...
connotations in Canada and
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
. Indigenous peoples in those areas have replaced the term Eskimo with Inuit, though the
YupikYupik may refer to: * Yupik peoples, a group of indigenous peoples of Alaska and the Russian Far East * Yupik languages, a group of Inuit-Aleut languages Yupꞌik (with the apostrophe) may refer to: * Yup'ik people, a Yupik people from western and s ...
of
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
and
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
do not consider themselves Inuit, and
ethnographers Ethnography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 ...
agree they are a distinct people. They prefer the terminology Yupik, Yupiit, or Eskimo. The
Yupik languages The Yupik languages are the distinct languages of the several Yupik peoples, Yupik peoples of western and south-central Alaska and northeastern Siberia. The Yupik languages differ enough from one another that they are not mutually intelligible, a ...
are linguistically distinct from the
Inuit languages The Inuit languages are a closely related group of indigenous American languages traditionally spoken across the North American Arctic and to some extent in the subarctic in Labrador , nickname = "The Big Land" , ...
, but are related to each other. Linguistic groups of Arctic people have no universal replacement term for Eskimo, inclusive of all Inuit and Yupik people across the geographical area inhabited by the Inuit and Yupik peoples.


Legal categories

Besides these ethnic descriptors, Aboriginal peoples are often divided into legal categories based on their relationship with
the Crown The Crown is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

the Crown
(i.e. the state). Section 91(24) of the ''
Constitution Act, 1867 The ''Constitution Act, 1867'The Constitution Act, 1867'', 30 & 31 Victoria (U.K.), c. 3, http://canlii.ca/t/ldsw retrieved on 2019-03-14. (french: Loi constitutionnelle de 1867, originally enacted as ''The British North America Act, 1867' ...
'' gives the federal government (as opposed to the provinces) the sole responsibility for "Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians." The government inherited treaty obligations from the British colonial authorities in
Eastern Canada Eastern Canada (also the Eastern provinces or the East) is generally considered to be the region of Canada east of Manitoba, consisting of the following provinces and territories of Canada, provinces: * Newfoundland and Labrador * New Brunswick ...

Eastern Canada
and signed treaties itself with First Nations in
Western Canada Western Canada, also referred to as the Western Provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study ...
(the
Numbered Treaties The Numbered Treaties (or Post-Confederation Treaties) are a series of eleven treaties A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and internati ...
). It also passed the ''Indian Act'' in 1876 which governed its interactions with all treaty and non-treaty peoples. Members of First Nations bands who are subject to the ''Indian Act'' with the Crown are compiled on a list called the
Indian Register The Indian Register is the official record of status Indians or ''registered Indians'' in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend f ...
, and such people are designated as Status Indians. Many non-treaty First Nations and all Inuit and Métis peoples are not subject to the ''Indian Act''. However, two court cases have clarified that Inuit, Métis, and non-status First Nations people, all are covered by the term "Indians" in the ''Constitution Act, 1867''. The first was ''
Re Eskimos is a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada Supreme may refer to: * Supreme (brand), a clothing brand based in New York * Supreme (comics), a comic book superhero * Supreme (cookery), a term used in cookery * Supreme (film), ''Supreme'' (film), ...
'' in 1939 covering the Inuit, the second being '' Daniels v. Canada'' in 2013 which applies to Métis and non-Status First Nations.


History


Paleo-Indian period

According to
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote ...
and genetic evidence, North and South America were the last continents in the world with
human habitation Habitability is the conformance of a House, residence or wikt:abode, abode to the implied warranty of habitability. A residence that complies is said to be habitable. It is an implied warranty or contract, meaning it does not have to be an express ...
. During the
Wisconsin glaciation The Wisconsin Glacial Episode, also called the Wisconsin glaciation, was the most recent glacial period of the North American ice sheet complex. This advance included the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, which nucleated in the northern North American Cordil ...
, 50,000–17,000 years ago, falling sea levels allowed people to move across the
Bering land bridge Beringia is defined today as the land and maritime area bounded on the west by the Lena River The Lena (russian: link=no, Ле́на, ; evn, Елюенэ, ''Eljune''; sah, Өлүөнэ, ''Ölüöne''; bua, Зүлхэ, ''Zülkhe''; mn, З ...
that joined Siberia to northwest North America (Alaska). Alaska was ice-free because of low snowfall, allowing a small population to exist. The
Laurentide Ice Sheet The Laurentide Ice Sheet was a massive sheet of ice that covered millions of square miles, including most of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three ...
covered most of Canada, blocking
nomadic A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo ...

nomadic
inhabitants and confining them to Alaska (East
Beringia Beringia is defined today as the land and maritime area bounded on the west by the Lena River in Russia; on the east by the Mackenzie River in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territori ...
) for thousands of years. Aboriginal genetic studies suggest that the first inhabitants of the Americas share a single ancestral population, one that developed in isolation, conjectured to be Beringia. The isolation of these peoples in Beringia might have lasted 10,000–20,000 years. page 2
Around 16,500 years ago, the glaciers began melting, allowing people to move south and east into Canada and beyond. The first inhabitants of North America arrived in Canada at least 14,000 years ago. It is believed the inhabitants entered the Americas pursuing
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally ...
mammals such as the ,
steppe wisent The steppe bison or steppe wisent (''Bison priscus'')
– Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre. Beringia.com. Retrieved on 2013-0 ...
,
musk ox Musk is a class of aromatic substances commonly used as base notes in perfume Perfume (, ; french: parfum) is a mixture of fragrant essential oils or aroma compounds, fixatives and solvent A solvent (from the Latin language, Latin ''wikt ...

musk ox
,
mastodons A mastodon ( Greek: μαστός "breast" and ὀδούς, "tooth") is any proboscidean belonging to the extinct genus ''Mammut'' (family Mammutidae) that inhabited North and Central America during the late Miocene or late Pliocene up to their ...
,
woolly mammoth The woolly mammoth (''Mammuthus primigenius'') is a species of mammoth A mammoth is any species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a u ...

woolly mammoth
s and ancient reindeer (early caribou). One route hypothesized is that people walked south by way of an ice-free corridor on the east side of the
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with simila ...

Rocky Mountains
, and then fanned out across North America before continuing on to South America. The other conjectured route is that they migrated, either on foot or using , down the to the tip of South America, and then crossed the Rockies and
Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the List of mountain ranges#Mountain ranges by length, longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of Sou ...

Andes
. Evidence of the latter has been covered by a
sea level rise Tide gauge measurements show that the current global sea level rise began at the start of the 20th century. Between 1900 and 2017, the globally averaged sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an average In colloqu ...

sea level rise
of hundreds of metres following the last ice age. The
Old Crow Flats Old Crow Flats is a wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. These Biotic co ...
and basin was one of the areas in Canada untouched by glaciations during the Pleistocene Ice ages, thus it served as a pathway and refuge for ice age plants and animals. The area holds evidence of early human habitation in Canada dating from about 12,000. Fossils from the area include some never accounted for in North America, such as
hyena Hyenas, or hyaenas (from Ancient Greek , ), are feliformia, feliform carnivoran mammals of the family Hyaenidae . With only four extant species (each in their own genus), it is the fifth-smallest biological family in the Carnivora and one of the ...

hyena
s and large
camel A camel is an even-toed ungulate The even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla , ) are ungulates—hoofed animals—which bear weight equally on two (an even number) of their five toes: the third and fourth. The other three toes are either present, ...

camel
s.
Bluefish Caves Bluefish Caves is an archaeological site in Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Provinces and territories of Canada, Canada's three territories. It also is ...
is an archaeological site in
Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the least populated province or territory in Canada, with a population of 35,874 peo ...

Yukon
, Canada from which a specimen of apparently human-worked mammoth bone has been radiocarbon dated to 12,000 years ago. Clovis sites dated at 13,500 years ago were discovered in western North America during the 1930s. Clovis peoples were regarded as the first widespread
Paleo-Indian Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleo-Americans, were the first peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a ...
inhabitants of the
New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth's Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas."America." ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (). McArthur, Tom, ed., 1992. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 33: "[16c: from ...
and ancestors to all Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Archaeological discoveries in the past thirty years have brought forward other distinctive knapping cultures who occupied the Americas from the lower Great Plains to the shores of Chile. Localized regional cultures developed from the time of the Younger Dryas cold climate period from 12,900 to 11,500 years ago. The
Folsom tradition The Folsom Complex was a Paleo-Indian archaeological culture that occupied much of central North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also b ...
are characterized by their use of
Folsom point Folsom points are a distinct form of knapped stone projectile points In North American archaeological terminology, a projectile point is an object that was hafted to weapon that was capable of being thrown or projected, such as a javelin A ...

Folsom point
s as projectile tips at archaeological sites. These tools assisted activities at kill sites that marked the slaughter and butchering of bison. The land bridge existed until 13,000–11,000 years ago, long after the oldest proven human settlements in the New World began. Lower sea levels in the Queen Charlotte sound and
Hecate Strait , image = HecateStrait(PittIsland).JPG , image_size = 260px , alt = , caption = Hecate Strait and Pitt Island (Canada), Pitt Island , image_bathymetry = Loc-QCS-Hecate-Dixon.png , alt_bathymet ...

Hecate Strait
produced great grass lands called ''archipelago of Haida Gwaii''.
Hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
s of the area left distinctive
lithic technology In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from biolo ...
tools and the remains of large butchered mammals, occupying the area from 13,000– 9,000 years ago. In July 1992, the Government of Canada officially designated X̲á:ytem (near Mission, British Columbia) as a National Historic Site, one of the first Indigenous spiritual sites in Canada to be formally recognized in this manner. The
Plano cultures The Plano cultures is a name given by archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but ...
was a group of hunter-gatherer communities that occupied the Great Plains area of North America between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago. The Paleo-Indians moved into new territory as it emerged from under the glaciers. Big game flourished in this new environment. The Plano culture are characterized by a range of projectile point tools collectively called
Plano point In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a ...
s, which were used to hunt
bison Bison are large, even-toed ungulate The even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla , ) are ungulate Ungulates ( ) are members of the diverse clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', "branch"), also known as a monophyletic group or natural gro ...

bison
. Their diets also included
pronghorn The pronghorn (, ) (''Antilocapra americana'') is a species of artiodactyl The even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla , ) are ungulate Ungulates ( ) are members of the diverse clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', "branch"), also known ...

pronghorn
,
elk The elk (''Cervus canadensis''), also known as the wapiti, is one of the largest species within the deer Deer or true deer are ed s forming the Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the , including the , the (wapiti), the , a ...

elk
,
deer Deer or true deer are ed s forming the Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the , including the , the (wapiti), the , and the ; and the , including the (caribou), , the , and the . Male deer of all species (except the Chinese ) as we ...

deer
,
raccoon The raccoon ( or , ''Procyon lotor''), sometimes called the common raccoon to distinguish it from other species, is a medium-sized mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting t ...

raccoon
and
coyote The coyote (''Canis latrans'') is a species of canis, canine native to North America. It is smaller than its close relative, the wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. It fills much of the same ecologica ...

coyote
. At the beginning of the Archaic Era, they began to adopt a
sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors such as watching television are characteristic of a sedentary lifestyle A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle (sociology), lifestyle involving l ...
approach to subsistence. Sites in and around
Belmont, Nova Scotia Belmont is a community in the Canada, Canadian province of Nova Scotia, located in Colchester County, Nova Scotia, Colchester County. Prior to 1872 it was called "Chiganois", the name taken from the nearby river. It was part of the Onslow Town ...
have evidence of Plano-Indians, indicating small seasonal hunting camps, perhaps re-visited over generations from around 11,000–10,000 years ago. Seasonal large and smaller game fish and fowl were food and raw material sources. Adaptation to the harsh environment included tailored clothing and skin-covered tents on wooden frames.


Archaic period

The North American climate stabilized by 8000 
BCE Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of the , reducing the average year from 365.2 ...
(10,000 years ago); climatic conditions were very similar to today's. This led to widespread migration,
cultivation Cultivation may refer to: * The state of having or expressing a good education (bildung), refinement (culture), refinement, culture, or high culture * Gardening * Agriculture, the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi * Fungiculture ...
and later a dramatic rise in population all over the Americas. Over the course of thousands of years, Indigenous peoples of the Americas domesticated, bred and cultivated a large array of plant species. These species now constitute 50–60% of all crops in cultivation worldwide. The vastness and variety of Canada's climates, ecology, vegetation,
fauna Fauna is all of the animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular r ...

fauna
, and landform separations have defined ancient peoples implicitly into cultural or
linguistic Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...

linguistic
divisions. Canada is surrounded north, east, and west with coastline and since the last ice age, Canada has consisted of distinct forest regions. Language contributes to the identity of a people by influencing social life ways and spiritual practices. Aboriginal religions developed from
anthropomorphism Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an ...
and
animism Animism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

animism
philosophies. The placement of artifacts and materials within an Archaic burial site indicated social differentiation based upon status. There is a continuous record of occupation of S'ólh Téméxw by Aboriginal people dating from the early
Holocene The Holocene ( ) is the current geological epoch In geochronology, an epoch is a subdivision of the geologic timescale that is longer than an age (geology), age but shorter than a period (geology), period. The current epoch is the Holocene E ...
period, 10,000–9,000 years ago. Archaeological sites at
Stave Lake Stave Lake is a lake and reservoir A reservoir (; from French language, French ''réservoir'' ) is most commonly an enlarged natural or artificial lake created using a dam to water storage, store water. Reservoirs can be created in a number ...

Stave Lake
, Coquitlam Lake,
Fort Langley Fort Langley is a village community in Township of Langley, British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , ...
and region uncovered early period artifacts. These early inhabitants were highly mobile hunter-gatherers, consisting of about 20 to 50 members of an extended family. The
Na-Dene Na-Dene (; also Nadene, Na-Dené, Athabaskan–Eyak–Tlingit, Tlina–Dene) is a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social g ...

Na-Dene
people occupied much of the land area of northwest and central North America starting around 8,000 BCE. They were the earliest ancestors of the
Athabaskan Athabaskan (also spelled ''Athabascan'', ''Athapaskan'' or ''Athapascan'', and also known as Dene) is a large family of indigenous languages of the Americas, indigenous languages of North America, located in western North America in three areal ...

Athabaskan
-speaking peoples, including the
Navajo The Navajo (; British English: Navaho; nv, Diné or ') are a of the . At more than 399,494 enrolled tribal members , the is the largest federally recognized tribe in the U.S. (the being the second largest); the Navajo Nation has the larges ...
and
Apache The Apache () are a group of culturally related Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans ...

Apache
. They had villages with large multi-family dwellings, used seasonally during the summer, from which they hunted, fished and gathered food supplies for the winter. The Wendat peoples settled into
Southern Ontario Southern Ontario is a primary region of the province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first ...
along the
Eramosa River The Eramosa River is a river in Wellington County, Ontario, Wellington County in southwestern Ontario which rises near Erin, Ontario, and flows southwest through the city of Guelph, where it joins the Speed River, which then enters the Grand River ...
around 8,000–7,000 BCE (10,000–9,000 years ago). They were concentrated between
Lake Simcoe Lake Simcoe is a lake in southern Ontario, Canada, the fourth-largest lake wholly in the province, after Lake Nipigon, Lac Seul, and Lake Nipissing. At the time of the first European contact in the 17th century the lake was called ''Ouentironk'' ( ...

Lake Simcoe
and
Georgian Bay Georgian Bay (french: Baie Georgienne) is a large bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of ...

Georgian Bay
. Wendat hunted caribou to survive on the glacier-covered land. Many different First Nations cultures relied upon the buffalo starting by 6,000–5,000 BCE (8,000–7,000 years ago). They hunted buffalo by herding migrating buffalo off cliffs.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a buffalo jump located where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains begin to rise from the prairie 18 km (11.2 mi) west of Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada on highway 785. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Wo ...

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
, near
Lethbridge, Alberta Lethbridge () is a city in the province of Alberta, Canada. With a recorded population of 101,482 in its 2019 municipal census, Lethbridge became the fourth Alberta city to surpass 100,000 people. The nearby Canadian Rocky Mountains contrib ...
, is a hunting grounds that was in use for about 5,000 years. The west coast of Canada by 7,000–5000 BCE (9,000–7,000 years ago) saw various cultures who organized themselves around salmon fishing. The
Nuu-chah-nulth The Nuu-chah-nulth (; Nuučaan̓uł: ), also formerly referred to as the Nootka, Nutka, Aht, Nuuchahnulth or Tahkaht, are one of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast The Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous peoples of th ...
of
Vancouver Island Vancouver Island is an island in the northeastern Pacific Ocean and part of the Canadian Provinces and territories of Canada, province of British Columbia. The island is in length, in width at its widest point, and in area. The island is the ...
began whaling with advanced long spears at about this time. The Maritime Archaic is one group of North America's
Archaic Archaic is a period of time preceding a designated classical period, or something from an older period of time that is also not found or used currently: *List of archaeological periods **Archaic Sumerian language, spoken between 31st - 26th centu ...
culture of sea-mammal hunters in the
subarctic The sub-Arctic zone is a region in the Northern Hemisphere immediately south of the true Arctic and covering much of Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, An ...
. They prospered from approximately 7,000 BCE–1,500 BCE (9,000–3,500 years ago) along the of North America. Their settlements included
longhouses A longhouse or long house is a type of long, proportionately narrow, single-room building built by peoples in various parts of the world including Asia, Europe, and North America. Many were built from timber Lumber, also known as timber, is ...
and boat-topped temporary or seasonal houses. They engaged in long-distance trade, using as currency white
chert Chert () is a hard, fine-grained sedimentary rock composed of microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline quartz, the mineral form of silicon dioxide (SiO2). Chert is characteristically of biological origin, but may also occur inorganically as a preci ...

chert
, a rock quarried from northern Labrador to Maine. The Pre-Columbian culture, whose members were called
Red Paint People The Red Paint People are a Pre-Columbian culture indigenous to the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It i ...
, is indigenous to the
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical region In geography ...

New England
and
Atlantic Canada Atlantic Canada, also called the Atlantic provinces, a term developed for the convenience of the federal government after Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, i ...

Atlantic Canada
regions of North America. The culture flourished between 3,000 BCE – 1,000 BCE (5,000–3,000 years ago) and was named after their burial ceremonies, which used large quantities of red
ochre Ochre ( ; from grc, ὤχρα, from , , pale), or ocher in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the ...
to cover bodies and grave goods. The
Arctic small tool traditionThe Arctic Small Tool tradition (ASTt) was a broad cultural entity that developed along the Alaska Peninsula and cottongrass meadow Image:AKPen4.jpg, 250px, Peulik Volcano and Ukinrek Maars The Alaska Peninsula (also called Aleut Peninsula or ...
is a broad cultural entity that developed along the
Alaska Peninsula and cottongrass meadow Image:AKPen4.jpg, 250px, Peulik Volcano and Ukinrek Maars The Alaska Peninsula (also called Aleut Peninsula or Aleutian Peninsula, ale, Alasxix̂) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' " ...
, around
Bristol Bay Bristol Bay ( esu, Iilgayaq, russian: Залив Бристольский) is the easternmost arm of the Bering Sea, at 57° to 59° North 157° to 162° West in Southwest Alaska. Bristol Bay is 400 km (250 mi) long and 290 km, (18 ...

Bristol Bay
, and on the eastern shores of the Bering Strait around 2,500 BCE (4,500 years ago). These Paleo-Arctic peoples had a highly distinctive toolkit of small blades (Microblade technology, microblades) that were pointed at both ends and used as side- or end-barbs on arrows or spears made of other materials, such as bone or antler. Scraper (archaeology), Scrapers, engraving tools and adze blades were also included in their toolkits. The Arctic small tool tradition branches off into two cultural variants, including the Pre-Dorset, and the Independence II culture, Independence traditions. These two groups, ancestors of Thule people, were displaced by the Inuit by 1000 CE.


Post-Archaic periods

The Old Copper Complex societies dating from 3,000 BCE – 500 BCE (5,000–2,500 years ago) are a manifestation of the Woodland period, Woodland Culture, and are pre-pottery in nature. Evidence found in the northern Great Lakes regions indicates that they extracted copper from local glacial deposits and used it in its natural form to manufacture tools and implements. The Woodland cultural period dates from about 2,000 BCE – 1,000 CE, and has locales in Ontario, Quebec, and Maritime regions. The introduction of pottery distinguishes the Woodland culture from the earlier Archaic stage inhabitants. Laurentides, Laurentian people of southern Ontario manufactured the oldest pottery excavated to date in Canada. They created pointed-bottom beakers decorated by a cord marking technique that involved impressing tooth implements into wet clay. Woodland technology included items such as beaver incisor knives, bangles, and chisels. The population practising sedentary agricultural life ways continued to increase on a diet of squash, corn, and bean crops. The Hopewell tradition is an Aboriginal culture that flourished along American rivers from 300 BCE – 500 CE. At its greatest extent, the Hopewell Exchange System networked cultures and societies with the peoples on the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario. Canadian expression of the Hopewellian peoples encompasses the Point Peninsula Complex, Point Peninsula, Saugeen Complex, Saugeen, and Laurel Complex, Laurel complexes.


First Nations

First Nations peoples had settled and established trade routes across what is now Canada by 500 BCE – 1,000 CE. Communities developed each with its own culture, customs, and character. In the northwest were the Athapaskan, Slavey people, Slavey, Dogrib people, Dogrib, Northern Tutchone, Tutchone, and Tlingit people, Tlingit. Along the Pacific coast were the Tsimshian; Haida; Coast Salish peoples, Salish; Kwakiutl; Heiltsuk; Nuu-chah-nulth, Nootka; Nisga'a; Senakw and Gitxsan. In the plains were the Blackfoot Confederacy, Niisitapi; Kainai Nation, Káínawa; Tsuutʼina Nation, Tsuutʼina; and Piikani Nation, Piikáni. In the northern woodlands were the Cree, Nēhiyawak and Chipewyan. Around the Great Lakes were the Anishinaabe; Algonquin people, Algonquin; Iroquois, Haudenosaunee and Wendat. Along the Atlantic coast were the Beothuk, Maliseet, Wəlastəkwewiyik, Innu, Abenaki and Mi'kmaq. Many First Nations civilizations established characteristics and hallmarks that included permanent urban settlements or cities, agriculture, civic and Mound builder (people), monumental architecture, and complex society, complex societal hierarchies. These cultures had evolved and changed by the time of the first permanent European arrivals (c. late 15th–early 16th centuries), and have been brought forward through archaeological investigations. There are indications of contact made before Christopher Columbus between the first peoples and those from other continents. Aboriginal people in Canada first interacted with Europeans around 1000 CE, but prolonged contact came after Europeans established permanent settlements in the 17th and 18th centuries. European written accounts generally recorded friendliness of the First Nations, who profited in trade with Europeans. Such trade generally strengthened the more organized political entities such as the Iroquois Confederation. Throughout the 16th century, European fleets made almost annual visits to the eastern shores of Canada to cultivate the fishing opportunities. A sideline industry emerged in the un-organized Fur trade, traffic of furs overseen by the Indian Department. Prominent First Nations people include Joe Capilano, who met with King of the United Kingdom, Edward VII, to speak of the need to settle land claims and Ovide Mercredi, a leader at both the Meech Lake Accord constitutional reform discussions and Oka Crisis.


Inuit

Inuit are the descendants of what Anthropology, anthropologists call the Thule culture, which emerged from western Alaska around 1,000 CE and spread eastward across the Arctic, displacing the Dorset culture (in Inuktitut, the Tuniit). Inuit historically referred to the Tuniit as "giants", or "dwarfs", who were taller and stronger than the Inuit. Researchers hypothesize that the Dorset culture lacked dogs, larger weapons and other technologies used by the expanding Inuit society. By 1300, the Inuit had settled in west Greenland, and finally moved into east Greenland over the following century. The Inuit had trade routes with more southern cultures. Boundary disputes were common and led to aggressive actions. Warfare was common among Inuit groups with sufficient population density. Inuit, such as the Nunatamiut (Uummarmiut) who inhabited the Mackenzie River delta area, often engaged in common warfare. The Central Arctic Inuit lacked the population density to engage in warfare. In the 13th century, the Thule culture began arriving in Greenland from what is now Canada. Norse accounts are scant. Norse-made items from Inuit campsites in Greenland were obtained by either trade or plunder. One account, :is:Ívar Bárðarson, Ívar Bárðarson, speaks of "small people" with whom the Norsemen fought. 14th-century accounts relate that a western settlement, one of the two Norse settlements, was taken over by the Skræling. After the disappearance of the Norse colonies in Greenland, the Inuit had no contact with Europeans for at least a century. By the mid-16th century, Basque people, Basque fishers were already working the Labrador coast and had established whaling stations on land, such as those excavated at Red Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Red Bay. The Inuit appear not to have interfered with their operations, but they did raid the stations in winter for tools, and particularly worked iron, which they adapted to native needs. Notable among the Inuit are Abraham Ulrikab and family who became a zoo exhibit in Hamburg, Germany, and Tanya Tagaq, a traditional Inuit throat singing, throat singer. Abe Okpik was instrumental in helping Inuit obtain surnames rather than disc numbers and Kiviaq (person), Kiviaq (David Ward) won the legal right to use his single-word Inuktituk name.


Métis

The Métis are people descended from marriages between Europeans (mainly French) and Cree, Ojibway, Algonquin, Saulteaux, Menominee, Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, and other First Nations. Their history dates to the mid-17th century. When Europeans first arrived to Canada they relied on Aboriginal peoples for fur trading skills and survival. To ensure alliances, relationships between European fur traders and Aboriginal women were often consolidated through marriage. The Métis homeland consists of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, as well as the Northwest Territories (NWT). Amongst notable Métis people are singer and actor Tom Jackson (actor), Tom Jackson, Commissioner of the Northwest Territories Tony Whitford, and Louis Riel who led two resistance movements: the Red River Rebellion of 1869–1870 and the North-West Rebellion of 1885, which ended in his Trial of Louis Riel, trial and subsequent execution. The languages inherently Métis are either Métis French or a mixed language called Michif language, Michif. Michif, Mechif or Métchif is a Pronunciation spelling, phonetic spelling of Métif, a variant of Métis. The Métis today predominantly speak Canadian English, English, with Canadian French, French a strong second language, as well as numerous Indigenous languages of the Americas, Aboriginal tongues. A 19th-century community of the Métis people, the Anglo-Métis, were referred to as Countryborn. They were children of Rupert's Land fur trade typically of Orcadian, Scottish, or English paternal descent and Aboriginal maternal descent. Their first languages would have been Aboriginal (Cree language, Cree, Saulteaux language, Saulteaux, Assiniboine language, Assiniboine, etc.) and English. Their fathers spoke Canadian Gaelic, Gaelic, thus leading to the development of an English dialect referred to as "Bungee language, Bungee". S.35 of the ''Constitution Act, 1982'' mentions the Métis yet there has long been debate over legally defining the term Métis, but on September 23, 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Métis are a distinct people with significant rights (Powley ruling). Unlike First Nations people, there has been no distinction between status and non-status Métis; the Métis, their heritage and Aboriginal ancestry have often been absorbed and assimilated into their surrounding populations.


Forced assimilation

From the late 18th century, European Canadians (and the Canadian government) encouraged Cultural assimilation, assimilation of Aboriginal culture into what was referred to as "Culture of Canada, Canadian culture." These attempts reached a climax in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a series of initiatives that aimed at complete assimilation and subjugation of the Aboriginal peoples. These policies, which were made possible by legislation such as the ''Gradual Civilization Act'' and the ''Indian Act'', focused on European ideals of Christianity, sedentary living, agriculture, and education.


Christianization

Missionary, Missionary work directed at the Aboriginal people of Canada had been ongoing since the first missionaries arrived in the 1600s, generally from France, some of whom were martyred (Jesuit saints called the "Canadian Martyrs"). Christianization as government policy became more systematic with the ''Indian Act'' in 1876, which would bring new sanctions for those who did not Conversion to Christianity, convert to Christianity. For example, the new laws would prevent non-Christian Aboriginal people from testifying or having their cases heard in court, and ban alcohol consumption. When the ''Indian Act'' was amended in 1884, traditional religious and social practices, such as the Potlatch, would be banned, and further amendments in 1920 would prevent "status Indians" (as defined in the ''Act'') from wearing traditional dress or performing traditional dances in an attempt to stop all non-Christian practices.


Sedentary living, reserves, and 'gradual civilization'

Another focus of the Canadian government was to make the Aboriginal groups of Canada sedentary, as they thought that this would make them easier to assimilate. In the 19th century, the government began to support the creation of model farming villages, which were meant to encourage non-sedentary Aboriginal groups to settle in an area and begin to cultivate agriculture. When most of these model farming villages failed, the government turned instead to the creation of Indian reserves with the ''Indian Act'' of 1876. With the creation of these reserves came many restricting laws, such as further bans on all intoxicants, restrictions on eligibility to vote in band elections, decreased hunting and fishing areas, and inability for status Indians to visit other groups on their reservations. Through the ''Gradual Civilization Act'' in 1857, the government would encourage Indians (i.e., First Nations) to ''enfranchise'' – to ''remove all legal distinctions between [Indians] and Her Majesty's other Canadian Subjects''. If an Aboriginal chose to enfranchise, it would strip them and their family of Aboriginal title, with the idea that they would become "less savage" and "more civilized," thus become assimilated into Canadian society. However, they were often still defined as ''non-citizens'' by Europeans, and those few who did enfranchise were often met with disappointment.


Residential system

The final government strategy of assimilation, made possible by the ''Indian Act'' was the Canadian Indian residential school system, Canadian residential school system: Beginning in 1847 and lasting until 1996, the Canadian government, in partnership with the dominant Christian Churches, ran 130 residential boarding schools across Canada for Aboriginal children, who were forcibly taken from their homes. While the schools provided some education, they were plagued by under-funding, disease, and abuse. Because of laws and policies that encouraged or required Indigenous peoples to Cultural imperialism, assimilate into a Eurocentrism, Eurocentric society, Canada violated the United Nations Genocide Convention that Canada signed in 1949 and passed through Parliament in 1952. The residential school system that removed Aboriginal children from their homes led scholars to believe that Canada could be tried in international court for genocide. A legal case resulted in settlement of in 2006 and the 2008 establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Canada), Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which confirmed the injurious effect on children of this system and turmoil created between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous peoples. In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology on behalf of the Canadian government and its citizens for the residential school system.


Politics, law, and legislation


Treaties

The Canadian Crown and Indigenous peoples began Timeline of colonization of North America, interactions during the European colonization period. Many agreements signed before the Confederation of Canada are recognized in Canadian law, such as the Peace and Friendship Treaties, the Robinson Treaties, the Douglas Treaties, and many others. After Canada's acquisition of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory in 1870, the eleven Numbered treaties were signed between First Nations and Canadian crown, the Crown from 1871 to 1921. These treaties are agreements with the Crown administered by Canadian Aboriginal law and overseen by the Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations. In 1973, Canada re-started signing new treaties and agreements with Indigenous peoples to address Indigenous land claims in Canada, their land claims. The first Comprehensive land claim, modern treaty implemented under the new framework was the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement in 1970. The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement of 1993 lead to the creation of the
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
-majority Nunavut Territory later that decade. The Canadian Crown continues to sign new treaties with Indigenous peoples, notably though the British Columbia Treaty Process. According to the ''First Nations–Federal Crown Political Accord'', "cooperation will be a cornerstone for partnership between Canada and First Nations, wherein ''Canada'' is the short-form reference to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada argued that treaties "served to reconcile pre-existing Aboriginal sovereignty with assumed Crown sovereignty, and to define Aboriginal rights." First Nations interpreted agreements covered in treaty 8 to last "as long as the sun shines, grass grows and rivers flow." However, the Canadian government has frequently breached the Crown's treaty obligations over the years, and tries to address these issues by negotiating Indigenous specific land claims in Canada, specific land claim.


''Indian Act''

The ''Indian Act'' is federal legislation that dates from 1876. There have been over 20 major changes made to the original Act since then, the last time being in 1951; amended in 1985 with Bill C-31. The Indian Act indicates how Reserves and Bands can operate and defines who is recognized as an "Indian." In 1985, the Canadian Parliament passed Bill C-31, ''An Act to Amend the Indian Act''. Because of a Constitutional requirement, the Bill took effect on 17 April 1985. * It ends discriminatory provisions of the ''Indian Act'', especially those that discriminated against women. * It changes the meaning of "status" and for the first time allows for limited reinstatement of Indians who were denied or lost status and/or Band membership. * It allows bands to define their own membership rules. Those people accepted into band membership under band rules may not be status Indians. C-31 clarified that various sections of the ''Indian Act'' would apply to band members. The sections under debate concern community life and land holdings. Sections pertaining to Indians (First Nations peoples) as individuals (in this case, wills and taxation of personal property) were not included.


Royal Commission

The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was a Royal Commission undertaken by the Government of Canada in 1991 to address issues of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. It assessed past government policies toward Aboriginal people, such as residential schools, and provided policy recommendations to the government. The Commission issued its final report in November 1996. The five-volume, 4,000-page report covered a vast range of issues; its 440 recommendations called for sweeping changes to the interaction between Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal people and the governments in Canada. The report "set out a 20-year agenda for change."


Health policy

In 1995, the Government of Canada announced the Aboriginal Right to Self-Government Policy. This policy recognizes that First Nations and Inuit have the constitutional right to shape their own forms of government to suit their particular historical, cultural, political and economic circumstances. The Indian Health Transfer Policy (Canada), Indian Health Transfer Policy provided a framework for the assumption of control of health services by Aboriginal peoples, and set forth a developmental approach to transfer centred on self-determination in health. Through this process, the decision to enter transfer discussions with Health Canada rests with each community. Once involved in transfer, communities can take control of health programme responsibilities at a pace determined by their individual circumstances and health management capabilities. The National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) incorporated in 2000, was an Aboriginal-designed and-controlled not-for-profit body in Canada that worked to influence and advance the health and well-being of Aboriginal Peoples. Its funding was discontinued in 2012.


Political organization

First Nations and Inuit organizations ranged in size from Band society, band societies of a few people to multi-nation confederacies like the Iroquois. First Nations leaders from across the country formed the Assembly of First Nations, which began as the National Indian Brotherhood in 1968. The Métis and the Inuit are represented nationally by the Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami respectively. Today's political organizations have resulted from interaction with European-style methods of government through the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. Indigenous political organizations throughout Canada vary in political standing, viewpoints, and reasons for forming. First Nations, Métis and Inuit negotiate with the Government of Canada through Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in all affairs concerning land, entitlement, and rights. The First Nation groups that operate independently do not belong to these groups.


Culture

Countless Indigenous words, inventions and games have become an everyday part of Spoken languages of Canada, Canadian language and use. The canoe, snowshoes, the toboggan, lacrosse, tug of war, maple syrup and tobacco are just a few of the products, inventions and games. Some of the words include the barbecue, Reindeer, caribou, chipmunk, Groundhog, woodchuck, hammock, skunk, and moose. List of place names in Canada of aboriginal origin, Many places in Canada, both natural features and human habitations, use Indigenous names. The word ''Canada'' itself derives from the Laurentian language, St. Lawrence Iroquoian word meaning 'village' or 'settlement'. The province of Saskatchewan derives its name from the Saskatchewan River, which in the Cree language is called ''Kisiskatchewani Sipi'', meaning 'swift-flowing river'. ''Ottawa'', the name of Canada's capital city, comes from the Algonquin language term ''adawe'', meaning 'to trade'. Modern youth groups, such as Scouts Canada and the Girl Guides of Canada, include programs based largely on Indigenous lore, arts and crafts, character building and outdoor camp craft and living. Aboriginal cultural areas depend upon their ancestors' primary Types of societies, lifeway, or occupation, at the time of European contact. These culture areas correspond closely with geography of Canada, physical and ecological List of regions of Canada, regions of Canada. The Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast were centred around ocean and river fishing; in the interior of British Columbia, hunter-gatherer and river fishing. In both of these areas, the salmon was of chief importance. For the people of the plains, bison hunting was the primary activity. In the taiga, subarctic forest, other species such as the moose were more important. For peoples near the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River, Shifting cultivation, shifting agriculture was practised, including the raising of maize, beans, and Squash (plant), squash. While for the Inuit, hunting was the primary source of food with Pinniped, seals the primary component of their diet. The caribou, fish, other marine mammals and to a lesser extent plants, berries and seaweed are part of the Inuit diet. One of the most noticeable symbols of Inuit culture, the inukshuk is the emblem of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. ''Inuksuit'' are rock sculptures made by stacking stones; in the shape of a human figure, they are called ''inunnguaq''. Indian reserves, established in Law of Canada, Canadian law by treaties such as Treaty 7, are lands of First Nations recognized by non-Indigenous governments. Some reserves are within cities, such as the Opawikoscikan Reserve in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Wendake, Quebec, Wendake in Quebec City or Enoch Cree Nation 135 in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. There are more reserves in Canada than there are First Nations, which were ceded multiple reserves by treaty. Aboriginal people currently work in a variety of occupations and may live outside their ancestral homes. The traditional cultures of their ancestors, shaped by nature, still exert a strong influence on them, from spirituality to political attitudes. National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day of recognition of the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada. The day was first celebrated in 1996, after it was proclaimed that year, by then Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc, to be celebrated on June 21 annually. Most provincial jurisdictions do not recognize it as a Public holidays in Canada, statutory holiday.


Languages

There are 13 Spoken languages of Canada#Aboriginal languages, Aboriginal language groups, 11 oral and 2 sign language, sign, in Canada, made up of more than 65 distinct dialects. Of these, only Cree, Inuit language, Inuktitut, and Ojibwe language, Ojibwe have a large enough population of fluent speakers to be considered viable to survive in the long term. Two of Canada's territories give official status to native languages. In Nunavut, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun are official languages alongside the national languages of English and French, and Inuktitut is a common vehicular language in territorial government. In the Northwest Territories, the ''Official Languages Act (Northwest Territories), Official Languages Act'' declares that there are 11 different languages: Dene Suline language, Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwichʼin language, Gwichʼin, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey language, Slavey, South Slavey, and Dogrib language, Tłįchǫ. Besides English and French, these languages are not vehicular in government; official status entitles citizens to receive services in them on request and to deal with the government in them.
Source': Statistics Canada, ''2006 Census Profile of Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order): Language, Mobility and Migration and Immigration and Citizenship'' Ottawa, 2007, pp. 2, 6, 10.


Visual art

Indigenous peoples were producing art for thousands of years before the arrival of European Settler colonialism, settler colonists and the eventual establishment of Canada as a nation state. Like the peoples who produced them, Indigenous art traditions spanned territories across North America. Indigenous art traditions are organized by art historians according to cultural, linguistic or regional groups: Northwest Coast, Plateau First Nations, Plateau, Plains Indians, Plains, Eastern Woodlands tribes, Eastern Woodlands, Subarctic, and Arctic. Art traditions vary enormously amongst and within these diverse groups. Indigenous art with a focus on portability and the body is distinguished from European traditions and its focus on architecture. Indigenous visual art may be used in conjunction with other arts. Shamanism among Eskimo peoples, Shamans' Masks among Eskimo peoples, masks and rattles are used ceremoniously in dance, storytelling and music. Artworks preserved in museum collections date from the period after European contact and show evidence of the creative adoption and adaptation of European trade goods such as metal and glass beads. The distinct Métis cultures that have arisen from inter-cultural relationships with Europeans contribute culturally hybrid art forms. During the 19th and the first half of the 20th century the Canadian government pursued an active policy of Forced assimilation, forced and cultural assimilation toward Indigenous peoples. The ''Indian Act'' banned manifestations of the Sun Dance, the Potlatch, and works of art depicting them. It was not until the 1950s and 1960s that Indigenous artists such as Mungo Martin, Bill Reid and Norval Morrisseau began to publicly renew and re-invent Indigenous art traditions. Currently, there are Indigenous artists practising in all media in Canada and two Indigenous artists, Edward Poitras and Rebecca Belmore, have represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1995 and 2005 respectively.


Music

The Aboriginal peoples of Canada encompass diverse ethnic groups with their individual musical traditions. Music is usually social (public) or ceremonial (private). Public, social music may be dance music accompanied by rattle (percussion instrument), rattles and drums. Private, ceremonial music includes vocal songs with accompaniment on percussion, used to mark occasions like Midewivin ceremonies and Sun Dances. Traditionally, Indigenous peoples used the materials at hand to make their instruments for centuries before Europeans immigrated to Canada. First Nations people made gourds and animal Horn (anatomy), horns into rattles, which were elaborately carved and brightly painted. In woodland areas, they made horns of birch bark and Percussion mallet, drumsticks of carved antlers and wood. Traditional percussion instruments such as drums were generally made of carved wood and animal Hide (skin), hides. These musical instruments provide the background for songs, and songs the background for dances. Traditional First Nations people consider song and dance to be sacred. For years after Europeans came to Canada, First Nations people were forbidden to practice their ceremonies.


Demographics and classification

There are three (First Nations, Inuit and Métis people (Canada), Métis) distinctive groups of Indigenous peoples that are recognized in the Canadian ''Constitution Act, 1982'', Section Twenty-five of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, sections 25 and 35. Under the ''Employment equity (Canada), Employment Equity Act'', Aboriginal people are a designated group along with women, visible minorities, and persons with disabilities; as such, they are neither a visible minority under the ''Act'' or in the view of Statistics Canada. The Canada 2016 Census, 2016 Canadian Census enumerated 1,673,780 Aboriginal people in Canada, 4.9% of the country's total population.[Aboriginal peoples in Canada: Key results from the 2016 Census] This total includes 977,230 First Nations people, 587,545 Métis, and 65,025 Inuit. National representative bodies of Aboriginal people in Canada include the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis National Council, the Native Women's Association of Canada, the National Association of Native Friendship Centres, and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. In 2016, Indigenous children ages zero to four accounted for 7.7% of those aged zero to four in Canada, and made up 51.2% of children in this age group living in foster care. In the 20th century the Aboriginal population of Canada increased tenfold. Between 1900 and 1950 the population grew by 29%. After the 1960s the infant mortality level on reserves dropped dramatically and the population grew by 161%. Since the 1980s the number of First Nations babies more than doubled and currently almost half of the First Nations population is under the age of 25. Indigenous people assert that their Sovereignty, sovereign rights are valid, and point to the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which is mentioned in the Canadian ''Constitution Act, 1982'', Section 25, the ''British North America Acts'' and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (to which Canada is a signatory) in support of this claim. :A.% of the provincial or territorial population that is Aboriginal :B.According to Statistics Canada, this figure "Includes those who identified themselves as Registered Indians and/or band members without identifying themselves as North American Indian, Métis or Inuit in the Aboriginal identity question." Ethnography, Ethnographers commonly classify Indigenous peoples of the Americas in the United States and Canada into ten geographical regions, Classification of indigenous peoples of the Americas, cultural areas, with shared cultural traits. The Canadian regions are: *Inuit, Arctic cultural area (Eskimo–Aleut languages) * Subarctic peoples, Subarctic culture area (Na-Dene languages and Algic languages) *Indigenous peoples of the Eastern Woodlands, Eastern Woodlands (Northeast) cultural area (Algic languages and Iroquoian languages) *Plains Indians, Plains cultural area (Siouan–Catawban languages) *Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Plateau, Northwest Plateau cultural area (Salishan languages) *Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, Northwest Coast cultural area (Penutian languages, Tsimshianic languages and Wakashan languages)


Urban population

Across Canada, 56% of Indigenous peoples live in urban areas. The urban Indigenous population is the fastest-growing population segment in Canada.


See also

* Index of articles related to Indigenous Canadians, Index of articles related to Indigenous peoples living in Canada *Native Americans in the United States * Aboriginal land title in Canada * Settler Colonialism in Canada *Indigenous education in Canada


References


Sources

* * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * * * * * * * * * * Leacock, Stephen (2009),
The Dawn of Canadian History: A Chronicle of Aboriginal Canada
', Dodo Press * *


Notes on terminology


External links


Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Portal
– Government of Canada
Aboriginal Peoples and Communities
– Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Aboriginal Heritage Resources and Services
– Library and Archives Canada
Aboriginal Virtual Exhibits
– Virtual Museum of Canada
Battle for Aboriginal Treaty Rights
– Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Digital Archives)
First Peoples of Canada
– The Canadian Museum of Civilization

– Department of Canadian Heritage
Map of historical territory treaties
– Natural Resources Canada {{DEFAULTSORT:Indigenous Peoples In Canada Indigenous peoples in Canada, History of Canada History of indigenous peoples of North America, Canada Hunter-gatherers of Canada