Native North American Nations in Ontario
Ontario Province First Nations
A significantly large segment of the Native North American population in Canada resides in Ontario province, especially in and around Toronto, Ottawa, and Barrie.
Overall, the indigenous peoples of Ontario include mainly Cree and Ojibwe or Ojibway, with a grouping of Mohawks (many across the border form New York State on a reserve that crosses country boundaries) and a few other Natigve American nations.
Some of the nations or tribes in Ontario around major cities are the following, contained in listings from local telephone and association directories
Southwest Ontario: Walpole Island - St. Clair Region
- Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle
- Barrie Native Friendship Center
- Huronia Area Aboriginal Management Board
- Rama and Area Native Women's Association
- Wiingashk Kwek Women's Group
- York Region Native Women's Association
Greater Toronto Area
- Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre & Georgian Bay Native Women's Association (Ojibwe). 175 Younge Street; Midland, ON L4R 2A7 -- (705) 526-5589
- Union of Ontario Indians. 2nd Floor - 27 Queen Street East; Toronto, ON M5C 1R2 -- (416) 366-3527
- Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. 16 Spadina Rd.; Toronto ON M5R 2S7 -- (416) 964-9087
2001 Documentation of Indigenous Peoples
The Metis People and Ontario
Native North Americans/First Nations cooperated as allies and business partners with Europeans in the founding the nation of Canada, but certain promises were not kept to these Aboriginal peoples.
As allies, they were central to historical events in formation of Canada in that Quebec was recognized as a British French-Indian province. During Quebecker wars with the US, Indians held the balance of power in Canada and were powerful in protecting Canadian borders from encroachments from the USA.
The Metis people created their own Provisional Government under Louis Riel in 1869 and then helped to form Manitoba. The Metis were persistent and vocal in joining Manitoban lands to Canada rather than to the USA.
The Metis people developed in the Canadian Northwest and migrated to the Great Lakes by the end of the 19th century (as far south as Ohio), especially Ontario. They are descendants of French fur traders from the North West Company or Scottish/English fur traders from the Hudson's Bay Company. These traders mated with Cree, Ojibway, and Saulteaux women and their children created a new Native American people, the Metis.
This all occurred in the 1600's through the 1800's, developing a new people fluent in both European and Indian languages and cultures. The Métis were go-betweens in the commercial relationship between Native and other communities. The Métis adapted European technologies to the frontier, developing new boats to transport the fur trade. This tribe increased in number by marrying other Metis and developed a unique Native American Culture, neither European nor Indian, but a hybrid. They have suffered disputes over their land claims to this day, but are active in business and society:
Ontario Metis Aboriginal Association
- Sault Ste. Marie ON at 1-(800)-423-3361
Federal, Provincial, and Non-Government Recognized First Nations
The following lists contain many other Ontario-located Native Americans. Although many are listed as members of the larger Cree, Ojibwe and other nations, these groups consider themselves separate entities.
Ontario Nations as of 2015Click thumbnail to view full-size
Visiting North American Nations
Pow Wow Etiquette
At Pow Wows all over the Western Hemisphere, all guests, participants and visitors are expected to show proper Pow Wow etiquette and follow all of the rules and protocol that the Pow Wow circuit follows.
- All Pow Wow Festivals are Alcohol and Drug Free.
- Powwows have strict rules against alcohol and drug use in the entire area of the powwow, and most prohibit smoking near the arena.
- Pictures during the Flag, Prayer, Honor Songs and when an individual is honoring a drum through a whistle should not be taken.
- Guests are asked to stand and remove your hat for certain songs. You do not have to remove your hat if you have an eagle feather in it.
- Tradition is to respect visiting chiefs and elders by giving them priority for all matters of etiquette.
- Do not crowd around the drummers.
- Always ask for permission before making any recordings.
- Children are welcome to enjoy this event, but cannot play in the Sacred Circle.
- Participants are asked to respect the arena director, head male dancer and head female dancer.
- Respect the work of the security committee, because their time is valuable.
- Heed what the Master of Ceremonies states during the Pow Wow.
- Canadian Aboriginal Festival
Dozens of Links to news, events and activities, inlcuding several Pow Wows.
- Traditional Mohawk Nation Daily and Ceremonial Clothing
What did Mohawk families wear from 1800 - 1900? While they had their own traditional clothing, they readily added European pieces to their wardrobes as they made friends with settlers.
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS