First Nations is the preferred term to describe the Aboriginal
peoples of Canada. This term first came into common usage in
the 1970s to replace the word "Indian," which many
found to be offensive.
First Nations refers to both "status" and "non-status"
Indians the word "Indian" is still used as
a legal definition of Aboriginal peoples. Many First Nations
peoples have adopted the term "First Nation" to replace
the word "band" in the name of their community.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognises Aboriginal
peoples are comprised of Indians, Inuit and Metis peoples.
-There are three legal definitions of Indians in Canada: 1-Status
represented by The Assembly of First Nations.
Status or Registered Indian is an Indian person who is registered
under the Indian Act. The act sets out the requirements
for determining who is a Status Indian." (Indian and
Northern Affairs Canada)
provisions of the Act, such as those related to gender, marriage
"Membership to status Indians is defined by a- admittance
to a general registry in Ottawa, b- affiliation with one
of 605 bands, c- entitlement to residence on band reserve
lands, and d- jurisdiction under the Indian Act" (Unequal
Relations, Fleras & Elliott, p.169)
–> In 1985 amendments were made to the Indian Act
with Bill C-31:
-restore status and membership to persons who lost their status
under previous legislation.
-give First Nations the option of assuming control of their
membership. (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) 2-Non-Status
Non-Status Indian is an Indian person who is not registered
as an Indian under the Indian Act. This may be because his or
her ancestors were never registered, or because he or she lost
Indian status under former provisions of the Indian Act."
(Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)
are represented by The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples 3-Treaty
Treaty Indian is a Status Indian who belongs to a First Nation
(band) that signed a treaty with the Crown." (Indian and
Northern Affairs Canada)
First Nation statistics: "There are 633 First Nations bands,
representing 52 Nations or cultural groups and more than 50
languages." (Assembly of First Nations)
band is a group of First Nation people for whom lands have
been set apart and money is held by the Crown. Each band has
its own governing band council, usually consisting of one
or more chiefs and several councillors.... Today, many bands
prefer to be known as First Nations."(Indian and Northern
"First Nations in Canada have signed agreements with
the Crown, called treaties. There are three groups of treaties:
Pre-Confederation Treaties, Numbered Treaties, and Modern
Treaties (Land Claims)." (University of Alberta) Pre-Confederation
Treaties: "include King George III's Royal Proclamation
of 1763 and those treaties negotiated in Canada before Confederation.
Also included are The Robinson Treaty of 1850 (Treaty No.13)
and the additions to The Robinson Treaty which are known as
Treaty No. 12 and Treaty No. 14." (University of Alberta)
Numbered Treaties: "are the Treaties numbered 1 to 11
which were negotiated between 1871 and 1877 with First Nations
peoples across Canada." (University of Alberta) Modern
Treaties: they "consist of land claims negotiated according
to Canada's Land Claims Policy established in 1973. The Land
Claims Policy recognizes two broad classes of claims -- comprehensive
claims and specific claims."(University of Alberta) 1-Comprehensive
land claims are "based on the concept of continuing Aboriginal
rights and title which have not been dealt with by treaty
or other legal means."(Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)
These rights usually include:
of Alberta) Since 1973, twelve comprehensive claims have come
ownership of certain lands in the area covered by the settlement;
wildlife harvesting rights;
participation in land, water, wildlife and environmental
management throughout the settlement area;
measures to stimulate economic development; and
role in the management of heritage resources and parks in
the settlement area.
of Alberta) *For more information on these twelve claims go
James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (Nov.11, 1975)
The Northeastern Quebec Agreement (Jan. 31, 1978)
The Inuvialuit Final Agreement (June 5, 1984)
The Gwich’in Agreement (April 22, 1992)
The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (May 25, 1993)
The Sahtu Dene and Metis Agreement (May 29, 1993)
The Vuntut Gwich’in First Nation (May 29, 1993)
The Teslin Tlingit Council (May 29, 1993)
The Champagn and Aishihik First Nations (May 29, 1993)
Nacho Nyak Dun (May 29, 1993)
The Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (July 21, 1997)
The Selkirk First Nation (July 21, 1997)
2-Specific land claims arise from "alleged non-fulfilment
of Indian treaties and other lawful obligations or from the
alleged improper administration of lands and other assets under
the Indian Act." (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) "Since
1973, Canada has settled 207 specific claims. At present, some
120 specific claims are in negotiation." (INAC)
According to the 2001 Census there are:
608,850 North American Indians
30,075 Aboriginals with multiple responses
Registered Indian: 558,175
Band Membership: 554,860
In 2000-2001, 148,236 Registered Indians were receipients
of monthly social assistance, a drop of 5% from 1997-1998.
However, on-reserve monthly social assistance receipents rose
by 20 per cent from 1990-1991 to 2000-2001.
and Northern Affairs Canada, Basic Departmental Data 2001)|
There is an over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in Canada's
adult prisons and penitentiary system. Within the federal
system, Aboriginal inmate representation ranged from about
4% to just over 44% in the prairies.
Service Canada, Aboriginal People in Corrections, PDF
There are 2,597 reserves across Canada (Fleras & Elliott,
"Earned income per employed Aboriginal person in
1991 was $14,561 compared to $24,001 for all Canadians, and
declined by $1,000 over the decade 1981 to 1991." (Assembly
of First Nations)
Saskatchewan: "The unemployment rate among urban
Aboriginals stands at 30%, compared with a provincial rate of
5.1%. Urban Aboriginals comprise 37% of the province's welfare
caseload, but only 15% of the population." (Fleras &
Elliott, p. 175)
"19% of inmates in federal penal institutions are
Aboriginal people." (Assembly of First Nations)
"Nearly 3/4 of aboriginal males will have been incarcerated
in a correctional centre at some point in their lives by the
age of 25." (Fleras & Elliott, p. 172)
"Aboriginal inmates occupy 64% of the federal penitentiary
population in Western Canada, but only about 12% of the Prairie
population." (Fleras & Elliott, p.172)
Coon Come (Politician)
National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
Worked on the development of the Cree-Naskapi Act (the
first legislation on Aboriginal government in Canada)
Film credits include: "Dances with Wolves,"
"Maverick," and "The Green Mile"
TV credits include: "Northern Exposure," "The
Red Green Show" and an appearance on "L.A. Law"
First treaty Indian to be elected as a provincial MP
Elected to the House of Commons in 1993
Known for key role in blocking the Meech Lake Accord
As an actor, is best known for starring role in North
Founded Huron Carole Benefit Series Tour for food banks
Guitarist for legendary rock group The Band
In 1987, Robbie released his first solo album which featured
the hit singles "Somewhere Down the Crazy River" and
"Showdown at Big Sky"
Wrote pop hit "Up Where We Belong"
Recorded over 12 albums.
Appeared on "Sesame Street" from 1976 to 1980.
Helped create the Juno Award for "Music of Aboriginal
Assembly of First Nations
of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Canada: 2001 Census: Aboriginal peoples of Canada
of Alberta (Aboriginal treaties and land claims