Aboriginal Peoples of Canada

http://www.indigenouspeople.net/americas/canada.htm

Aboriginal Peoples of Canada

https://www.indigenouspeople.net/canada.htm

Aboriginal Rights Coalition – English/French

Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research & Culture
(Carleton Univ., Ottawa, Canada)

First Nations Journals

The First Perspective
Aboriginal, First Nations and Native News in Canada

Canadian Languages
scroll down for North American native languages

Canadian Links

Canadian Museum of Civilization
Gallery exhibit on Canada’s First Peoples

 

Ojibwe Language and Culture

Guide to Research: First Nations
University College of the Fraser Valley Library

Dene Cultural Institute
(Northwest Territories)

Native Americans of North America

First Nations Forestry Program
On-line Newsletters
Native Pages from StFXU

Canada’s Statement at the 11th Session of the UNWGIP

Canada’s Statement at the 12th Session of the UNWGIP – July 1994

Other Canadian Sites

When Europeans first arrived, Canada had an indigenous population estimated at 200,000. In 1986 the Canadian single-origin aboriginal population numbered 373,260. In 1990 there were 598 separate Indian bands located on or having access to 2,284 reserves.

The office of superintendent for Indian affairs in Canada was first established by the British in 1755. In 1860 control of Indian affairs passed to the Canadian government, and in 1880 a Department of Indian Affairs was established, now a part of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The primary function of the department is to aid in maintenance of the bands and to encourage full and free participation in national affairs. All effective Indian legislation in Canada is contained in the Indian Act of 1951. All Indians are citizens of Canada; are free to elect band chiefs and councils; may leave reserves at any time; and may participate, with representatives of the department, in running their own social and economic affairs.

About 35% of Canada’s Indians live in urban centers: Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Toronto each have Indian populations of more than 20,000. Many of these are “nonstatus” people who suffer the same effects of economic and social poverty characteristic of U.S. urban Indian communities.

Canadian Indians historically have faced strong assimilatory pressure, which many are now resisting. Tens of thousands of “nonstatus” Indians have no significant land with which to affiliate and are seeking redress of their early land losses. A threatened incursion onto land claimed by the Mohawk Indians near Montreal brought a 7-week confrontation between the Indians and Canadian authorities in 1990 prior to settlement of the dispute in favor of the Indians. Throughout the northern reaches of Canada, hydroelectric power development and the search for and exploitation of mineral resources have threatened some native peoples with displacement.

In Canada native peoples legally defined as Indians are known as “status” Indians (those who belong to a band with a treaty with the government or those registered Indians outside treaty areas); all are granted equal benefits and privileges from the federal government. “Nonstatus” Indians are those who have lost their legal status. People in these categories may or may not be of unmixed Indian ancestry. The 1982 Constitution Act defines the aboriginal population as Indian, Inuit, and Metis (mixed), but because of past historical and legal differences, they do not share equal rights. Generally, no continuing Metis rights are recognized under federal law.

When Europeans first arrived, Canada had an indigenous population estimated at 200,000. In 1986 the Canadian single-origin aboriginal population numbered 373,260. In 1990 there were 598 separate Indian bands located on or having access to 2,284 reserves.

The office of superintendent for Indian affairs in Canada was first established by the British in 1755. In 1860 control of Indian affairs passed to the Canadian government, and in 1880 a Department of Indian Affairs was established, now a part of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The primary function of the department is to aid in maintenance of the bands and to encourage full and free participation in national affairs. All effective Indian legislation in Canada is contained in the Indian Act of 1951. All Indians are citizens of Canada; are free to elect band chiefs and councils; may leave reserves at any time; and may participate, with representatives of the department, in running their own social and economic affairs.

About 35% of Canada’s Indians live in urban centers: Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Toronto each have Indian populations of more than 20,000. Many of these are “nonstatus” people who suffer the same effects of economic and social poverty characteristic of U.S. urban Indian communities.

Canadian Indians historically have faced strong assimilatory pressure, which many are now resisting. Tens of thousands of “nonstatus” Indians have no significant land with which to affiliate and are seeking redress of their early land losses. A threatened incursion onto land claimed by the Mohawk Indians near Montreal brought a 7-week confrontation between the Indians and Canadian authorities in 1990 prior to settlement of the dispute in favor of the Indians. Throughout the northern reaches of Canada, hydroelectric power development and the search for and exploitation of mineral resources have threatened some native peoples with displacement.

In Canada native peoples legally defined as Indians are known as “status” Indians (those who belong to a band with a treaty with the government or those registered Indians outside treaty areas); all are granted equal benefits and privileges from the federal government. “Nonstatus” Indians are those who have lost their legal status. People in these categories may or may not be of unmixed Indian ancestry. The 1982 Constitution Act defines the aboriginal population as Indian, Inuit, and Metis (mixed), but because of past historical and legal differences, they do not share equal rights. Generally, no continuing Metis rights are recognized under federal law.

http://www.indigenouspeople.net/americas/canada1.htm

An Apology to the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada

from The Presbyterian Church of Canada

https://www.indigenouspeople.net/apology.htm

Recently, at its Winnipeg convention, the Presbyterian

Church approved the following statement:

Our Confession

The Holy Spirit, speaking in and through Scripture, calls the Presbyterian Church in Canada to confession. This confession is our response to the word of God. We understand our mission and ministry in new ways, in part because of the testimony of Aboriginal peoples.

1. We, the 120th General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, seeking the guidance of the Spirit of God, and aware of our own sin and shortcomings, are called to speak to the Church we love. We do this, out of new understandings of our past, not out of any sense of being superior to those who have gone before us, nor out of any sense that we would have done things differently in the same context. It is with deep humility and in great sorrow that we come before God and our Aboriginal brothers and sisters with our confession.

2. We acknowledge that the stated policy of the Government of Canada was to assimilate Aboriginal peoples to the dominant culture, and that The Presbyterian Church in Canada cooperated in this policy. We acknowledge that the roots of the harm we have done are found in the attitudes and values of western European colonialism, and the assumption that what was not yet moulded in our image was to be discovered and exploited. As part of that policy we, with other churches, encouraged the Government to ban some important spiritual practices through which Aboriginal peoples experienced the presence of the creator God. For the churche’s complicity in this policy we ask forgiveness.

3. We recognize that there were many members of The Presbyterian Church in Canada who, in good faith, gave unstintingly of themselves in love and compassion for their aboriginal brothers and sisters. We acknowledge their devotion and commend them for their work. We recognize that there were some who, with prophetic insight, were aware of the damage that was being done and protested, but their efforts were thwarted. We acknowledge their insight. For the times we did not support them adequately nor hear their cries for justice, we ask forgiveness.

4. We confess that The Presbyterian Church in Canada presumed to know better than Aboriginal peoples what was needed for life. The Church said of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, “If they could be like us, if they could think like us, talk like us, worship like us, sing like us, work like us, they would know God as we know God and therefore would have life abundant.” In our cultural arrogance we have been blind to the ways in which our own understanding of the Gospel has been culturally conditioned, and because of our insensitivity to aboriginal cultures, we have demanded more of Aboriginal peoples than the gospel requires, and have thus misrepresented Jesus Christ who loves all peoples with compassionate, suffering love that all may come to God through him. For the church’s presumption we ask forgiveness.

5. We confess that, with the encouragement and assistance of the Government of Canada, The Presbyterian Church in Canada agreed to take the children of Aboriginal peoples from their own homes and place them in Residential Schools. In these schools, children were deprived of their traditional ways, which were replaced with Euro-Canadian customs that were helpful in the process of assimilation. To carry out this process, The Presbyterian Church in Canada used disciplinary practices which were foreign to Aboriginal peoples, and open to exploitation in physical and psychological punishment beyond any Christian maxim of care and discipline. In a setting of obedience and acquiescence there was opportunity for sexual abuse, and some were so abused. The effect of all this, for Aboriginal peoples, was the loss of cultural identiy and the loss of a secure sense of self. For the Church’s insensitivity we ask forgiveness.

6. We regret that there are those whose lives have been deeply scarred by the effects of the mission and ministry of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. For our Church we ask forgiveness of God. It is our prayer that God, who is merciful, will guide us in compassionate ways towards helping them to heal.

7. We ask, also, for forgiveness from Aboriginal peoples. What we have heard we acknowledge. It is our hope that those whom we have wronged with a hurt too deep for telling will accept what we have to say. With God’s guidance our Church will seek opportunities to walk with Aboriginal peoples to find healing and wholeness together as God’s people.

Reference:

Trevor Falk
Water’s Edge Consulting
32 Lankin Boulevard
Toronto, ON M4J 4W8

phone (416) 425-6343
fax (416) 425-6712
E-Mail: Trevor_Falk@eyenet.north.net

Other Canadian Sites

https://www.indigenouspeople.net/canada1.htm

Images

“Aboriginal peoples” is a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. The Canadian constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples: Indians (commonly referred to as First Nations), Metis and Inuit. These are three distinct peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs. More than 1.4 million people in Canada identify themselves as an Aboriginal person.

The characteristics of Canadian Aboriginal culture included permanent settlements, agriculture, civic and ceremonial architecture, complex societal hierarchies and trading networks. The Metis culture of mixed blood originated in the mid-17th century when First Nation and Inuit people married Europeans.

The Inuit had more limited interaction with European settlers during that early period. Various laws, treaties, and legislation have been enacted between European immigrants and First Nations across Canada. Aboriginal Right to Self-Government provides opportunity to manage historical, cultural, political, health care and economic control aspects within first people’s communities.

Canadiana

Canadian Constitutional Documents

Canadian Government

Canada Internet Guide

Canadian Websites

The terms First Peoples and First Nations are both used to refer to indigenous peoples of Canada. The terms First Peoples or Aboriginals in Canada are normally broader terms than First Nations, as they include Inuit, Metis and First Nations. First Nations (most often used in the plural) has come into general use for the indigenous peoples of North America in Canada, and their descendants, who are neither Inuit nor Metis. On reserves, First Nations is being supplanted by members of various nations referring to themselves by their group or ethnical identity. In conversation this would be “I am Haida”, or “we are Kwantlens”, in recognition of their First Nations ethnicities. In this Act, “Aboriginal peoples of Canada” includes the Indian, Inuit and Metis peoples of Canada.

The Discovery Channel Canada

Telnet Canada Enterprises

First Nations peoples had settled and established trade routes across what is now Canada by 500 BCEĞ1,000 CE. Communities developed each with its own culture, customs, and character. In the northwest were the Athapaskan, Slavey, Dogrib, Tutchone, and Tlingit. Along the Pacific coast were the Tsimshian; Haida; Salish; Kwakiutl; Heiltsuk; Nootka; Nisga’a; Senakw and Gitxsan. In the plains were the Blackfoot; Kainawa; Sarcee and Peigan. In the northern woodlands were the Cree and Chipewyan. Around the Great Lakes were the Anishinaabe; Algonquin; Mi’kmaq; Iroquois and Huron. Along the Atlantic coast were the Beothuk, Maliseet, Innu, Abenaki and Mi’kmaq.

Countless North American Indigenous words, inventions and games have become an everyday part of 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, caribou, chipmunk, woodchuck, hammock, skunk, and moose. Many places in Canada, both natural features and human habitations, use indigenous names. The word “Canada” itself derives from the 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.” Canada’s capital city Ottawa 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 peoples, both historical and contemporary, in North America can be divided into 10 cultural areas: Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau, Plains, Eastern Woodlands (sometimes referred to as the Northeast), Southeast, Southwest, Great Basin, and California. Only the first six areas are found within the borders of what is now Canada. Contemporary geopolitical borders in North America do not reflect (and often overlap) traditional Aboriginal lands. For example, the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne straddles both provincial (Quebec and Ontario) and international (New York State) borders, as its existence predates the establishment of the international border in 1783.

National Aboriginal History Month

In 2009, June was declared National Aboriginal History Month, following the passing of a unanimous motion in the House of Commons. This provides an opportunity to recognize not only the historic contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the development of Canada, but also the strength of present-day Aboriginal communities and their promise for the future.

Every June, Canadians celebrate National Aboriginal History Month, which is an opportunity to honor the heritage, contributions and cultures of First Nation, Inuit and Metis communities across Canada. Canadians are also invited to celebrate National Aboriginal Day on June 21st each year.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s