Portal:Indigenous peoples in Canada

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The Indigenous peoples in Canada Portal
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Introduction

A life-sized bronze statue of an Indigenous person and eagle above him; there is  a bear to his right and a wolf to his left, they are all looking upwards towards a blue and white sky
The Canadian Aboriginal veterans monument
in Confederation Park, Ottawa.
Noel Lloyd Pinay, 2001.
Photo by Padraic Ryan ca. 2007.

In Section thirty-five of the 1982 Canadian Constitution Act, Indigenous peoples in Canada comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" are falling into disuse. Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are some of the earliest archaeological sites of human habitation in Canada. The Paleo-Indian Clovis, Plano cultures and Pre-Dorset pre-date American indigenous and Inuit cultures. Projectile point tools, spears, pottery, bangles, chisels and scrapers mark archaeological sites, thus distinguishing cultural periods, traditions and lithic reduction styles.

Hundreds of Indigenous nations evolved trade, spiritual and social hierarchies. The Métis culture of mixed blood originated in the mid-17th century when First Nation and native Inuit married European settlers. 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. Indigenous Right to Self-Government provides opportunity to manage historical, cultural, political, health care and economic control aspects within first people's communities.

There are currently over 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands encompassing 1,172,790 2006 peoples spread across Canada with distinctive Indigenous cultures, languages, art, music and beliefs. National Aboriginal Day recognises the cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples to the history of Canada. In all walks of life First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples have become prominent figures serving as role models in the Indigenous community and help to shape the Canadian cultural identity.

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Aboriginal genetics
Map of gene flow in and out of Beringia.jpg

Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas primarily focus on Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups and Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroups. Autosomal "atDNA" markers are also used, but differ from mtDNA or Y-DNA in that they overlap significantly. The genetic pattern indicates Indigenous Amerindians experienced two very distinctive genetic episodes; first with the initial peopling of the Americas, and secondly with European colonization of the Americas. The former is the determinant factor for the number of gene lineages, zygosity mutations and founding haplotypes present in today's Indigenous Amerindian populations.

Human settlement of the New World occurred in stages from the Bering sea coast line, with an initial layover on Beringia for the small founding population. The micro-satellite diversity and distributions of the Y lineage specific to South America indicates that certain Amerindian populations have been isolated since the initial colonization of the region. The Na-Dené, Inuit and Indigenous Alaskan populations exhibit haplogroup Q (Y-DNA); however, they are distinct from other indigenous Amerindians with various mtDNA and atDNA mutations. This suggests that the peoples who first settled the northern extremes of North America and Greenland derived from later migrant populations than those who penetrated further south in the Americas. Linguists and biologists have reached a similar conclusion based on analysis of Amerindian language groups and ABO blood group system distributions.

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Harriet Nahanee

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Harriet Nahanee (born 1935 – February 24, 2007) was an Indigenous/Aboriginal rights activist, residential school survivor, and environmental activist. She was born in British Columbia, Canada. She comes from the Pacheedaht who are part of the Nuu-chah-nulth, Indigenous peoples from the Vancouver Island. As a child, Nahanee attended both Ahousaht Residential School and Alberni Residential School, and would later testify about the horrible treatment she received there. She married into the Sḵwxwú7mesh (Squamish). Harriet was sentenced to two weeks in a provincial jail in January 2007 for criminal contempt of court for her part in the Sea-to-Sky Highway expansion protest at Eagleridge Bluffs. She was then hospitalized with pneumonia a week after her release from the jail, at which time doctors discovered she had lung cancer. She died of pneumonia and complications at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver on February 24, just one month after her original sentencing.

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Skwxwu7mesh Siiyamiyn.jpg
Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) leaders on North Vancouver warf in 1906 to send Joe Capilano for his trip to England. The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh[1] (pronounced [sqʷχʷúʔməʃ]), or Squamish, are an indigenous people of southwestern British Columbia, a part of the Salishan-speaking people. They speak the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language, which is a part of the Coast Salish linguistic grouping. When translated, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh renders into the people of the sacred water, referencing what they believe is the water in their territory and its spiritual healing properties.
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  1. ^ Historical rendering of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh is Sko-ko-mish but this should not be confused with the name of the Skokomish people of Washington state. The Semantics of Determiners: Domain restriction in Skwxwú7mesh

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In 2006, the provinces with the largest aboriginal populations were Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. However half of Canada's Inuit population lives in Nunavut, comprising 85 per cent of the territories total inhabitants.

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1914 Panoramic View of Iroquois.jpg
"Iroquois." c1914. William Alexander Drennan, copyright claimant, 1914

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