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First Nations in Canada.docx

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Langara College
Political Science
POLI 1119

First Nations in Canada  Aboriginal Politics – Terminology o Disagreement on terminology used o “Aboriginal people’s” describes descendants of original inhabitants of North America o First Nation – a term that came into use in the 1970s in place of “Indian” which some see as offensive o Indian – a legal term used in Constitution Act 1867 and Indian Act 1876 – it is continued to be used as a legal term in Canada o Inuit – Aboriginal people of Northern Canada, legally not Indians o Metis – people of mixed Aboriginal and European descent who self identify as such, major disagreement as to who is and who is not Metis (both from within and without the Metis community) o Status Indian – a person recognized as an Indian under the Indian Act o Band – a group of Aboriginal people’s whose community is recognized by Crown treaty – often self described now as a First Nation o Reserve – a tract of land, held by the Crown, reserved for the use and benefit of an Indian Band  Native Overview o Constitution of Canada recognizes three types of native peoples  Indians (First Nations) 700,000 people, 650 communities, 50+ cultural groups/nations, 50+ languages  Metis – approx. 400,000 mostly urban  Inuit – 45,000, 53 communities, spread throughout the three northern Territories, northern Quebec and Labrador o Dispersed populations – Aboriginals live;  Native reserves, may be close to urban economic centers or thousands of kilometers from
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