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History of The First Nations

Here we are making an attempt to explore the history of the First Nations. At this time we can but use antiquarian resources to tell their story but we'd be more than happy to bring this more up to date should any of Canada's First Nations people wish to provide information for the site by way of text, pictures or videos.

As you read the early history of Canada you'll find that the First Nations people fought for the French against the British while others fought for the British against the French. They were also involved in fighting for Canada in the war with the USA. And of course many also fought for Britain in both World Wars. This means as you explore the history of each Province you'll come across many accounts of the First Nations people.

In this section of the site we're bringing you more specific information on the First Nations as we find it so do also feel free to contact us if you have information to contribute. We would add that in here we show information on the First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

Our Home on Native Land - Wikwemikong
A special one-hour documentary on the First Nations Reserve of Wikwemikong. Located on Manitoulin Island in Georgian Bay in Ontario, Wikwemikong is one of Canada's largest reserves with a population of over 7,000. Many in the community are scarred from the legacy of residential schools, and unemployment and drug abuse are high, but there is a concerted effort made within the community to improve their lives.

From Statistics Canada

We bring you some recent statistics from Statistics Canada which tend to show that Aboriginal peoples living on Reserves are worse off than their counterparts living off reserves. In particular the First Nations people seem to do worse that the Métis and Inuit.

Aboriginal population surpasses the one-million mark

A total of 1,172,790 people identified themselves as an Aboriginal person, that is. North American Indian (hereafter referred to as First Nations people in this report), Metis or Inuit in the 2006 Census of Population. The census counted 976,305 Aboriginal people in 2001 and 799,010 in 1996. There were nearly 700,000 First Nations people identified in 2006 as well as approximately 390,000 Metis and just over 50,000 Inuit.

Ghost Dance - Native American - Power Drums - Spirit Pride

Fast paced, heart pounding beat. Ghost Dance by Apurimac III Nature Spirit Pride and beautiful art photos by J.D. Challenger, Frank Howell, and Howard Terpning.

Understanding Aboriginal Identity
Understanding Aboriginal Identity explores the complex issue of self-identification for Aboriginal people. Today, Aboriginal identity remains inextricably linked with past government legislation and the continued stereotyping of Aboriginal people in the media and Canadian history. From a Metis farm in rural Alberta to the offices of Canada’s leading scholars, Understanding Aboriginal Identity examines the factors that shape who we are.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada [external link]
Indigenous Services Canada [external link]
A List of First Nations Tribes can be found here [external link]
Portal: Aboriginal peoples in Canada [external link]
First Nations in Canada (pdf)
Inuit (pdf)
The Buffalo Lake Métis Site
A Late Nineteenth Century settlement in the Parkland of Central Alberta (1988) (pdf)
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
AANDC is one of the federal government departments responsible for meeting the Government of Canada's obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and for fulfilling the federal government's constitutional responsibilities in the North.
Assembly of First Nations
The story of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is one that remains unknown to most Canadians. It is the story that is lived each day by the First Nations peoples of Canada. It is the story of a struggle for self-determination and human dignity. It is a story that must be told.
The Métis Nation of Ontario
Prior to Canada’s crystallization as a nation, a new Aboriginal people emerged out of the relations of Indian women and European men. While the initial offspring of these Indian and European unions were individuals who simply possessed mixed ancestry, subsequent intermarriages between these mixed ancestry children resulted in the genesis of a new Aboriginal people with a distinct identity, culture and consciousness in west central North America – the Métis Nation.

Bear Witness: a film by BC's Coastal First Nations

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK)
Is the national Inuit organization in Canada, representing four Inuit regions – Nunatsiavut (Labrador), Nunavik (northern Quebec), Nunavut, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Northwest Territories. [External Link]
The Creation of Nunavut
Written by Dr. Peter Kulchyski — Posted August 11, 2017

My own first impressions of the First Nations
By Alastair McIntyre

Books by John McDougall
His books are all about growing up in Alberta and surrounding areas when his father was a missionary to the local Indian Tribes. It is said he could speak 2 Indian languages before he could speak English. One of his books Wa-pee Moos-tooch or "White Buffalo", The Hero of a Hundred Battles is a tale of Life in Canada's Great West During the Early Years of the Last Century.
Sketch of the Esquimaux found in the Territory of Boothia Felix
This is an extract taken from the book "Appendix to the Narrative of a second Voyage in search of the North West Passage and of a residence in the Arctic Regions during the years 1829 - 1833" by Sir John Ross, Captain of the Royal Navy.
Canadian Savage Folk
The Native Tribes of Canada by John MacLean M.A. Ph. D. (1896)
Our Treaty History
Bkejwanong Territory, Walpole Island First Nation
Part Qallunaaq
From Hudson Bay to the Firth of Tay Searching for My Scottish Grandfather © by Zebedee Nungak. Also added a variety of Inuit videos.
Handel's Messiah
A production by the Inuit people. This is a video production on YouTube.
The Treaties of Canada with The Indians of Manitoba and the North-West Territories
By Alexander Morris
The Four Kings of Canada
This is an old book printed in 1710. Such is the date that at this time the letter S was printed as the letter L and so it may be a wee bit challenging to read but I think well worth the effort.
Annual Reports of the Department of Indian Affairs

The Native Races of North British America
By W. D. Hambly
Delaware Nation
Information on the Delaware Nation, previously called Lanapi and also resident in Kent County, Ontario in Moraviatown.

Origins a history of Canada Part 1 a new world

Origins a history of Canada part 2 The First Nations

Sioux Nation
Information on the Sioux Nation in the US and Canada.
The Aboriginies of Canada
This is a chapter from the book "The Dawn of Canadian History: A Chronicle of Aboriginal Canada" by Stephen Leacock
Cree Nation
Information on the Cree Nation.
An Account of Conferences held, Treaties made
Between Major-General Sir William Johnson, Bart. and various Indian Tribes.
Iroquois Nation
Information on the Iroquois in the US and Canada
A Treatise on the Six-Nation Indians
by James Bovell Mackenzie
Handbook of the Indians of Canada
By the Geographic Board of Canada (1913)

Nanook of the North - Canadian Inuit aboriginals

Early Documentary (1922) on the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic

Information on the Ojibway in the US and Canada
Information on the Micmac mostly in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada
The Métis Nation of Ontario
Information about the Métis Nation
Illustrations, Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians
With Letters and Notes written during eight years of travel and adventure among the wildest and most remarkable tribes now existing with three hundred and sixty engravings from the authors original paintings by Geo. Catlin. in two volumes (1857).
Canadian Aboriginal History: "Did You Know"?
A video series.
First Nations Taxation
This is an interesting account about the taxation issues concerning First Nations
Solutreans Are Indigenous Americans
A video documentary
500 Nations The Story of Indian Americans
This is a 2 part video.
First Nation's Treaty History in B.C., Canada

Nanook of the North (1922)
Classic Documentary, silent movie.
Algonquin People
An overview
The Historical Relationship Between The Canadian Justice System and Aboriginal People (pdf)
By Associate Chief Judge Murray Sinclair To the Aboriginal Justice Learning Network Constituency Group Meeting Elders-Policy Makers-Academics Ayler, Quebec April 16—18, 1997
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The story of the abuse caused by sending native people's children to residential schools.
The Historical Relationship Between The Canadian Justice System and Aboriginal People
By Associate Chief Judge Murray Sinclair (1997)
Old Man Stories
By Frank B. Linderman.
A collection of legends keeping as near as possible to the Indian's style of story-telling, and using only tales told by the older men of the Blackfeet, Chippewa, and Cree tribes.
The War Chief of the Six Nations
A Chronicle of Joseph Brant by Louis Aubrey Wood (1914) (pdf)
Caldwell First Nations
First Nations band government whose land base is located in Leamington, Ontario
Indian, Metis and Eskimo Leaders in Contemporary Canada
This collection of 15 biographies was prepared to illustrate, for classroom purposes, some of the well-known contemporary Indian, Eskimo, and Metis people in Canada today.
Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in Canada
The Indians of Western Canada by Andrew Browning Baird (1895)
First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education Policy Framework
Alberta Learning, Edmonton (2002) (pdf)
Monograph of the Déné - Dindjié Indians
By the Rev. E. Petitot, Oslay Missionary, translated by Douglas Brymner (pdf)
Fort Chipewyan

Two books on the area.
The Six-Nations Indians in the Province of Ontario (pdf)
Indian, Metis and Eskimo Leaders in Contemporary Canada
This collection of 15 biographies was prepared to illustrate, for classroom purposes, some of the well-known contemporary Indian, Eskimo, and Metis people in Canada today. (pdf)
Mound Builders

The Life of a Stó:lo¯ Matriarch
The Men of the Backwoods
True stories and sketches of the Indians and the Indian Fighters by Ascott R. Hope (1899) (pdf)
Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Key results from the 2016 Census
2016 Canadian Public Opinion on Aboriginal Peoples

Canadian Vanishing Communities
Cultivators and Traders of the Eastern Woodlands by Winifred Ferry. This book is about a Huron family who lived in the Eastern woodlands of what is now Southern Ontario. It describes the main activities of this family during one year. No longer do the Huron live as they once did. This book will help you understand how these cultivators and traders lived in the area known as Huronia. (pdf)
Ancient Aborigional Trade in North America
By Charles Rau, reprinted from the report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1872 (1873) (pdf)
Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader
Describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians; with an account of the Posts situated on the River Saint Laurence, Lake Ontario, &c. to which is added a Vocabulary of the Chippeway Language. Names of Furs and Skins, in English and French. A list of words in the Iroquois, Mohegan, Shawanee, and Esquimeaux tongues and a table of the Anology between the Algonkin and Chippeway languages by J. Long (1791) (pdf)

New Caledonia (1977)
Fort St-James is a small town In northern British Columbia. A community of Carrier Indians are living nearby grappling with drugs and alcohol.

Canadians of Long Ago
The story of the Canadian Indian by Kenneth E. Kidd (1951)
Canadian Indian
Volume 1, October 1890 (pdf)
Shingwauk Letter Book 1887-1888
By Edward F. Wilson {external Link - Very poor scan but might be able to unpick it and clarify the text]
Our Words, Our Ways
Teaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learners. This resource will help classroom teachers and staff better serve the needs of their Aboriginal students. The process of development was one of consultation, information gathering, drafting, more consultation and re-drafting. The contributors to this resource include Aboriginal Elders, teachers and psychologists as well as other members of Alberta’s Aboriginal communities. (pdf)
Situating Nunavut Education with Indigenous Education in Canada
By Heather Elizabeth McGregor (pdf)
Report on the affairs of the Indians in Canada. Section III
By Canada. Commissioners Appointed to Inquire into the Affairs of the Indians in Canada (1847) (pdf)
Social Organisation of the Blackfoot Indians
By Rev. John Maclean, M.A., Ph.D. (1892) (pdf)
Picture-Writing of the Blackfeet
By Rev. John MacLean, PH.D. (1891) (pdf)
A set of 6 Indian and Eskimo children's books (1900) (pdf)
The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada
Which are dependent on the Province of New York, and are a Barrier between the English and the French in that part of the world by the Hon. Cadwallader Colden in two volumes (1904)
Indian Legends of Vancouver Island
By Alfred Carmichael (1922) (pdf)
The Story of the Totem Pole
Or Indian Legends by William Shelton (1923) (pdf)
My Friend the Indian
By James McLaughlin (1910) (pdf)
The Book of Indian Crafts and Indian Lore
By Julian Harris Salomon (1928) (pdf)
The Administration of Indian Affairs in Canada
By Frederick H. Abbott, Secretary of the Board of Indian Commissioners. Report of an investigation made in 1915 under the direction of the Board of Indian Commissioners (1915) (pdf)
Indian Days in the Canadian Rockies
By Marius Barbeau, Illustrations by W. Langdon Kihn (1923) (pdf)
Stories from Indian Wigwams and Northern Camp-Fires
By Egerton Ryerson Young, author of "By Canoe and Dog-Train", "Oowikapun", etc. (1893) (pdf)
Annual Reports of the Department of Indian Affairs
By the Dominion of Canada
Canadian Indians
The following letters, article, and editorials were written in
the hope that good might come from the writing. (1911) (pdf)
The Battle of the Bears
Life in the North Land by Egerton R. Young (1907) (pdf)
Indian Life in the Great North-West
By Egerton R. Young, Missionary to the North American Tribes North of Lake Winnipeg (1840) (pdf)
By Canoe and Dog-Train Among the Cree and Salteaux Indians
By Egerton Ryerson Young (1808) (pdf)
The Native Races of North America
Edited by W. H. Withrow, D.D., F.R.S.C. (1895) (pdf)
How the Gospel reached the Nelson River Indians by Egerton R. Young, Author of "Canoe and Dog-train," "Indian Wigwams and Northern Camp-fires" (1895) (pdf)
Children of the Forest
A Story of Indian Love By Egerton R. Young (1904) (pdf)
A Teaching Resource Unit
On the Role of the Indian in Canadian History for the Grade Ten Alberta Social Studies Program by Frances E. Duperron (1975) (pdf)
The Treaties of Canada with the Indians of Manitoba and the North-West Territories
Including the Negotiations on which they were based and other information relating thereto by The Hon. Alexander Morris, P.C., Late Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, the North-West Territories and Kee-Wa-Ten (pdf)
Early Life Among the Indians
Reminiscences from the Life of Benj. G. Armstrong. Treaties of 1835, 137, 1842 and 1854. Habits and Customs of the Red Men of the Forrest. Incidents, Biographical Sketches, Battles, &c, dictated and written by Thos. P. Wentworth (1802) (pdf)
Western Scenes and Reminiscences
Together with Thrilling Legends and Traditions of the Red Men of the Forest to which is added several narratives of adventures among the Indians (1853) (pdf)
An historical account of the expedition against the Ohio Indians, in the year 1764
Under the command of Henry Bouquet, Esq; colonel of foot, and now brigadier general in America. Including his transactions with the Indians, relative to the delivery of their prisoners, and the preliminaries of peace. With an introductory account of the preceeding campaign, and battle at Bushy-Run. To which are annexed military papers, containing reflections on the war with the savages; a method of forming frontier settlements; some account of the Indian country, with a list of nations, fighting men, towns, distances and different routs. The whole illustrated with a map and copper-plates by William Smith (1765) (pdf)
Chiefs Journey
The summer and fall of 1886 saw a flurry of ‘loyal’ Plains Indigenous leaders pay visits to Central Canada.
Report on the Affairs of the Indians in Canada
Laid before the legislative assembly 20th March 1845 (pdf)
Whispered Gently through Time
First Nations Quality Child Care: A National Study. Study sponsored by the Assembly of First Nations, Office of the Regional Vice Chief. Funded by the Child Care Visions Program of the Employability and Social Partnerships Division, HRDC (2020) (pdf)
Our Words, Our Ways
Teaching First Nations, Metis and Inuit Learners (2005) (pdf)
First Nations, Metid and Inuit School-Community Learning Environment Project May 2007 - Promising Practices (pdf)
Traditional Healing Practices Among First Nations Students
Traditional Native healing practices are an important aspect of the First Nations peoples' conception of health and well-being. The purpose of this study was to assess post-secondary First Nations students' attitudes toward traditional Native healing practices. First Nations adult volunteers were surveyed in several adult educational settings to appraise their attitudes towards traditional healing practices in terms of their interest, valuing, and participation. The majority of subjects reported having participated in a diversity of Native healing practices. Implications of the prevalence of these beliefs and practices are discussed and recommendations for counsellors are offered. (pdf)
Romantic Kent, The Story of a County 1626 - 1952
First 79 pages of the book up to the start of the war with America in which the Native Indians are first noticed by Victor Lauriston (pdf)
Baptists and First Peoples of Canada 1846-1976
A History by the Rev. JodiLynn Spargur MDiv., Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, Presented to: Baptist Heritage and Identity Commission, Baptist World Alliance, Annual Meetings, Vancouver, BC, July 7, 2016. History always occurs in context. Not only the context of the past, but the context of the present in which the story is being recounted. These realities then, must shape our ways of looking back. They must shape who we listen to and how. They must inform our practice of recounting history and must direct our ways of moving into the present in light of the past.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
First Nations Community Policing Services (RCMP - FNCPS) Agreements - Volume 3 (1995) (pdf)
Treaties and the Treaty Relationship Webinar Series

Canada's History Society have collaborated with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba to create and host the Treaties and the Treaty Relationship webinar series.
Pow Wow Trail
Documentary about the Pow Wow

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