Portal:Indigenous peoples in Canada

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The Indigenous peoples in Canada Portal
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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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Notable Aboriginal people of Canada
"A bust color portrait of a young Aboriginal women, in a red traditional shall with her dark hair tied back ""A colour photo of Robbie Robertson on a stage. He is wearing a purple shirt while playing a six string fender guitar.""A colour bust photo of Adam Ruebin Beach wearing a grey leather bomber jacket."
"A colour photo of Tagaq on stage singing. She is holding a microphone while wearing a red and black dress.""A colour photo of Paul Okalik standing in front of a chalkboard wearing a grey sweater""A colour picture of a smiling Kenojuak Ashevak in 1997 while at work in the print shop."
"A colour picture of Tony Whitford, Commissioner of the Northwest Territories during his swearing in ceremony. He is in a dark suit and white shirt with a tie and a flower in the buttonhole."" A colour photo of actor Tom Jackson wearing a blue sleeveless sweater, zipped to his chin, over a white long sleeved shirt.""A colour photo of Bryan John Trottier while skating with no helmet in a hockey rink in uniform. "

Over the course of centuries, many notable Aboriginal people of Canada have played a critical role in shaping the history of Canada, while others have made significant contributions in every aspect of Canadian culture. Combined with Canada's late economic development and vast size, the country's history has allowed Canadian Aboriginal peoples to have strong influences on the national culture, while preserving their own identity.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples have defied every barrier put-forth to break through with remarkable achievements. From words and language, to art and music, to law and government, to sports and war; Aboriginal customs and culture have had a strong influences on defining the "Canadian way of life".

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 early indigenous North Americans have added to the Canadian and world cultures. Some of the words include the barbecue, caribou, chipmunk, woodchuck, hammock, skunk, mahogany, hurricane and moose. Many North American and South American areas, towns, cities and rivers have names of Indigenous origin. A prime example of this is the word "Canada" it derived from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word meaning "village" or "settlement". The Saskatchewan province got 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 the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts include programs based largely on Indigenous lore, arts and crafts, character building and outdoor camp craft and living.

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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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First Nations CEF soldiers A041366.jpg
Elders with soldiers in the uniform of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. ca. 1916..... More than 7,000 Canadian First Nations, Inuit and Métis served with British forces during First World War and Second World War. When Canada declared war on Germany on September 10, 1939, the Aboriginal community quickly responded to volunteer. Four years later, in May 1943, the government declared that, as British subjects, all able Indian men of military age could be called up for training and service in Canada or overseas.
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Indigenous Amerindian genetic studies indicate 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.

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Dogrib tipis.jpg
Original caption (1907): "Tepees of the Dogrib Indians on the shores of Slave Lake at Fort Resolution, N.W. Territory."
The "Dogrib" are referred to today by the Nation name of Tłı̨chǫ.


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