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A collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. The Canadian Constitution (the Constitution Act, 1982) recognizes three groups of Aboriginal Peoples - Indians, Métis and Inuit. These are three separate peoples with unique heritages, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.


A policy supported by the federal government in which the Aboriginal population was to accept the customs and attitudes of the prevailing European and western culture through a variety of processes.

Assiniboine (Stoney or Nakoda)

The Assiniboine people broke from the Yankton Sioux and thereafter associated largely with the Cree. Three hundred years ago they lived in Minnesota at the edge of the parklands and plains; they were deer and buffalo hunters and engaged in some horticulture.

L’Assomption Sash

This was a Métis sash that was named after the region of Quebec were they were fashioned. Métis traders wore the red sash as a part of their uniform that also consisted of a blue coat and a beaded pipe bag.


A band is made up of a group of Aboriginal people who share a common and specified land base, currency, cultural tradition and government. Lands (reserves) have been set aside for them and money is held by the crown. Many bands prefer to be known as First Nations.

Siksika (Blackfoot) Confederacy

The Confederacy consists of Siksika (Blackfoot), Kainai (Boods), and or Pikanii (Peigan) who share a common language, historical and cultural background but have their own leadership.

Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation

One of the best known of the northern tribes, the Siksika were the first nation to meet the fur traders. Also known as the "Siksika", this nation has lived on the Plains for a very long time.

Dene and Anishinabe (Chipewyan) Nations

Northern nomadic tribes whose territory stretched from the Churchill river north to the tundra and from Hudson Bay in the east to Great Slave Lake and part of Alberta in the west. The Anishinabe (Chipewyan) name is derived from a Cree term meaning "pointed skins" that some believe refers to the way these particular peoples made and wore their shirts and others interpret as a comment upon how the Anishinabe (Chipewyan) prepared their furs for trade. Under the terms of Treaty 8 the Dene were allowed to obtain land in individual allotments as they shared no official community and did not wish to confine themselves to reserves.

Cree Nation

Although there is evidence to indicate that the Cree have lived in the parkland regions of the west for sometime, the Plains Cree originated in the east and moved to the Plains through their involvement in the fur trade. While the term "Cree" most likely originated from a French name of unknown origin, Kristineaux, their own term is Nehiyawak or "exact people." There are many branches of the Cree nation spread across the country and are typically divided into the Plains Cree, Woodland Cree, Swampy Cree, and Moose Cree. Originally they were all woodland people and spoke the Algonquian language of Eastern Canada.


Culture is made of the customs and shared beliefs, attitudes, values, goals, practices, social forms, and material traits of a religious, racial or social group.


Communication is the process of sharing or exchanging information with others. Communication can take many forms.


A community is a people who are part of a large group that shares similar interests and backgrounds that includes religion, language, and ancestry.

Cultural Identity

A Cultural Identity is a personal way of connecting to the customs, beliefs, values, and traditions of a group, or society. Cultural Identity defines a sense of relating to the customs, beliefs, values, and traditions of a group or society.


In Aboriginal communities "Elder" has many meanings. It can mean a person who is older and is known as a spiritual and cultural leader, and who has the knowledge of traditions. Elders are often regarded as symbols of Aboriginal culture not only in their words and actions but for the very existence.


The term Eurocentric refers to a tendency to interpret the world in terms of western and European values, beliefs, and experiences.

First Nation

A name Aboriginal People gave themselves that refers to them as the original inhabitants of Canada

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