Indigenous Communities in Canada: First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

Indigenous Communities in Canada: First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

We acknowledge the land on which the head office for Tridel operates is the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and, The Mississaugas of the Credit River First Nations. Many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island continue to call this land home, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work here.

During National Indigenous Peoples History Month and beyond, we’ve made effort to reflect, recognize and learn more about the distinct cultures, languages and experiences of Indigenous Peoples, and how their contributions and achievements have shaped and continue to shape our society.

As part of our fundamental values that guide our support for our homeowners, colleagues and communities, each June we honour the culture and history of Indigenous Peoples. Through employee events like this year’s virtual paint workshop with Ojibway artist Patrick Hunter, we’re helping our employees connect and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ culture through artistic expression.

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In addition to a paint workshop, Tridel is a proud supporter of the Building Brighter Futures Scholarship Fund for Indigenous Students through the Indspire Foundation, a Canadian Indigenous registered charity that supports and invests in the education of Indigenous people, their families, and many communities across the nation.

We can all actively embrace the journey towards reconciliation by deepening our collective understanding, appreciation, support, and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples.

Join us in a learning journey as we briefly explore the three main groups of Indigenous Peoples in Canada,  First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

Indigenous Peoples are the original inhabitants of the land that is now Canada. Inuit and First Nations history extends well before the arrival of Europeans in Canada, while Métis emerged as a distinct culture after intermarriage between European settlers and First Nations people. In the 2016 census by statistics Canada, over 1.6 million people in Canada identified as Indigenous, making up 4.9 per cent of the national population.

First Nations.

First Nations

First Nations is a term used to describe Indigenous Peoples in Canada who are not Métis or Inuit. First Nations people were the original inhabitants of the land that is now Canada, often occupying territories south of the Artic.

977,230 people in Canada identified as being of First Nations heritage, and approximately 70 distinct languages are spoken amongst First Nations people.

Inuit.

Inuit

Inuit – Inuktitut – meaning “the people” are Indigenous people, many of whom inhabit the northern regions of Canada. An Inuit person is known as an Inuk. The Inuit homeland is known as Inuit Nunangat, which refers to the land, water, and ice contained in the Arctic region.

In the 2016 census, the Inuit population reached 65,025. The Inuit language, Inuktitut, has five main dialects in Canada: Inuvialuktun (Inuvialuit region in the Northwest Territories); Inuinnaqtun (western Nunavut); Inuktitut (eastern Nunavut dialect); Inuktitut (Nunavik dialect); and Nunatsiavumiuttut (Nunatsiavut).

Métis.

Metis

Métis people are a combination of European and Indigenous ancestry and live mostly in the Prairie provinces and in Ontario but can also reside in other parts of the country.

In 2016, the Métis population was 587,545. The most-spoken Métis language is called Michif, a mixture of Cree, Saulteaux (Ojibwa) and French.

Visual Elements Illustrating First Nations, Inuit and Métis People.

Visual Elements Illustrating First Nations, Inuit and Métis People.

The Government of Canada has released a visual description of the various elements that represent Indigenous cultures in Canada, as well as other resources to learn more about National Indigenous History Month. Some of these elements are:

  • The Eagle: representing the First Nations peoples.
  • The Narwhal: representing the Inuit peoples.
  • The Violin: representing the Métis peoples.

Alongside the three icons representing First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, you will also find:

  • The Sun: representing the summer solstice.
  • The Four Elements of nature: earth, water, fire and air.
  • Multicolour Smoke: a reminder of Indigenous spirituality but also the colours of the rainbow – a symbol of inclusion and diversity of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and their members.

Although we are taking necessary steps to support, empower and learn more about Indigenous peoples across Canada, we understand the dedicated work that goes into reconciliation will forever remain as we continue to reside on these lands and are committed to progress.

To learn more about Indigenous Peoples in Canada visit The Canadian Encyclopedia. To learn which traditional territory your home or place of work is located on, check out Native Land – an interactive, GIS-based tool.

Sources

Edmonston, B. (2018). Statistics Canada. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/statistics-canada

Parrott, Z. (2020). Indigenous Peoples in Canada.  In <em>The Canadian Encyclopedia</em>. Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/aboriginal-people

(2022). Indigenous Languages in Canada. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/aboriginal-people-languages

Compton, R. (2019). Inuktitut. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/inuktitut

Brown, J. (2018). Michif. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/michif