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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North-West Rebellion

Battle of Fish Creek.jpg

The North-West Rebellion (or North-West Resistance or the Saskatchewan Rebellion) of 1885 was a brief and unsuccessful uprising by the Métis people of the District of Saskatchewan under Louis Riel against the Dominion of Canada, which they believed had failed to address their concerns for the survival of their people. Despite some early victories at Duck Lake, Fish Creek and Cut Knife, the rebellion resulted in the destruction of numerous Métis and allied Aboriginal forces, and Louis Riel was hanged. Tensions between French Canada and English Canada increased for some time. Due to the role that the Canadian Pacific Railway played in transporting troops, political support increased and the legislature authorized funds to complete the nation's first transcontinental railway. After the Red River Rebellion of 1869-1870, many of the Métis moved from Manitoba to Saskatchewan, then part of the Northwest Territories, where they founded a settlement at Batoche on the South Saskatchewan River. However, as in Manitoba, settlers from Ontario began to arrive. They pushed for land to be allotted in the square concession system of English Canada, rather than the seigneurial system of strips reaching back from a river which the Métis were familiar with in their French-Canadian culture.

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Pitikwahanapiwiyin (c. 1842 – 4 July 1886), commonly known as Poundmaker, was a Plains Cree chief known as a peacemaker and defender of his people. Poundmaker was born in the Battleford region, the child of Sikakwayan, an Assiniboine medicine man, and a mixed-blood Cree woman, the sister of Chief Mistawasis. Following the death of his parents, Poundmaker, his brother Yellow Mud Blanket, and his younger sister, were all raised by their mother's Cree community, led by Chief Wuttunee, but later known as the Red Pheasant Band. In his adult life, Poundmaker gained prominence during the 1876 negotiations of Treaty 6 and split off to form his own band. In 1881, the band settled on a reserve about 40 km northwest of Fort Battleford. Poundmaker was not opposed of the idea of a treaty, but became critical of the Canadian government's failures to live up to its promises.

In 1873, Crowfoot, chief of the Blackfoot First Nation, had adopted Poundmaker thereby increasing the latter’s influence. This move also cemented the ties between the Blackfoot and the Cree, which successfully stopped the quarreling and arguing over the now very scarce buffalo.

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Nuxalk mask (UBC-2010).jpg
Nuxalk mask or "squXsEn" today located within the UBC Museum of Anthropology's collection in Vancouver, Canada. The Nuxalk Nation (Nuxalk: Nuxálk; Salish pronunciation: [nuxálk], with the 'x' like German ach), also referred to as the Bella Coola or Bellacoola, are an Indigenous First Nation in Canada, living in the area in and around Bella Coola, British Columbia. Their language is also called Nuxalk.
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Ontario has the largest concentration of aboriginal people at 242,495. Six Nations is the largest reserve in Canada, with over 21,000 members.

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