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Native American Nations in Eastern Canada

Updated on December 26, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

A descendant of Mohawk Nation and trained in anthropology, Patty has researched and reported on Indigenous Peoples for over four decades.

Cree Bands in Quebec

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A markerEastmain, Quebec Canada -
Eastmain, QC J0M, Canada
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B markerMistissini -
Mistissini, QC G0W, Canada
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C markerNemaska -
Nemiscau, Baie-James, QC J0M, Canada
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D markerWaskaganish Quebec -
Waskaganish, Fort-Rupert, QC, Canada
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E markerWaswanipi -
Waswanipi, QC J0Y, Canada
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F markerWemindji -
Wemindji, QC J0Y, Canada
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G markerWhapmagoostui -
Whapmagoostui, QC J0M, Canada
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H markerOuje-Bougoumou Crees -
Oujé-Bougoumou, QC G0W, Canada
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I markerChisasibi, Quebec Canada J0M 1E0 -
Québec J0M 1E0, Canada
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Cree Nation, Canada and USA

Cree Nation is are one of the largest First Nations in Canada, with 200,000 members living in the country. Nearly 15,000 of these are in Quebec.

Canadian First Nations in Quebec Province

Quebec Province is east of Ontario Province in Canada and borders the Maritime Provinces that include Newfoundland (containing Labrador), New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.

Over 50 separate bands of First Nations peoples live in Quebec, speaking a mix of French, their own indigenous languages and English. The large number of Native North American groups in Quebec is similar in size to that of First Nations in Ontario, but likely has experienced a large amount of French Influence that is more dominant in Quebec than in Ontario..

In addition to the chart of native groups below, many Cree groups inhabit Quebec as well:

  • Chisasibi Mandow Agency
  • Cree Nation of Eastmain
  • Cree Nation of Mistissini
  • Cree Nation of Nemaska
  • Crees of Northern Quebec
  • Cree Nation of Waskaganish
  • Cree Nation of Waswanipi ("Light on the Water")
  • Cree Nation of Wemindji
  • Cree Nation of Whapmagoostui
  • Ouje-Bougoumou Crees

Cree Written Language

Cree Syllabic language chart
Cree Syllabic language chart | Source

Quebec Mohawk Territory

The Kahnawake Mohawk Territory is a Mohawk Reserve on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, across from Montreal. These indigenous people were stumbled upon by French explorers as they built a Jesuit Mission in 1719.

Mohawk Nation in Quebec: Bearskin Lake Mohawks of Kahnawake

A markerKahnawake -
Kahnawake, QC J0L, Canada
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Serving the USA

Fifty men from the Kahnawake Preserve volunteered to fight with the United States military during the Vietnam Conflict.

The Mohawk Nation is a strong political group in Quebec, recognized in Canada as a First Nation, but also living in New York State on a reservation. In Quebec:

  • Mohawks of Kahnawake
  • P.O. Box 720, Kahnawa'kehró:non Raonenhóntsa, J0L 1B0
  • (450) 632-7500

In the United States, three groups of Mohawk people live in New York. One group is federally recognized and operates a casino near the NY-Canada Border. Of the other two groups, the Traditional Mohawk is the smaller, and totally unrecognized by federal, provincial, or state governments.

Mohawks of Kahnawake

A markerMohawks of Kahnawake -
Kahnawake, Quebec J0L, Canada
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Montagnais

The Montagnais peoples, who speak several Algonquian dialects, were found by the French as they built a trading post. A Christian mission followed under father Jean d'Albeau, in 1615.

Montagnais Band or "Mountaineers"

A markerMontagnais -
Le Montagnais Village Universitaire, 1970 Rue du Montagnais, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2X9, Canada
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Innu montagnais Kathia Rock Sept-Iles Maliotenam native

Indigenous Traditions in Quebec

The Cree First Nation and Tradition

A lovely Cree First Nation tradition of old is the child's Walking-Out Ceremony. This ceremony is conducted in the spring and begins one morning at dawn as the child's family awakens.

The meaning of this ceremony is that the Cree child touches Mother Earth in first contact. He/she is walking outside and touching nature and the universe for the first time. The child is introduced to Mother Nature by meeting the sunrise and carrying all of the implements that symbolize the role he or she will play in a lifetime.

The First Snowshoe Walk is performed in winter to symbolize that the child is ready to travel with adults on his or her own and does not need to be a burden to carry. The child is usually age five or six for this ceremony. This would be done traditionally when the family moved to a winter lodge.

Parents or grandparents would prepare the first snowshoes for the child and ensure that when the day came for the move, everything was ready, including provisions.The parents now walk the child to the lodge as of old and everyone joins a feast there to honor the child's First Snowshoe Walk.

First Kill

There is no frivolous killing among the Cree.

When a boy or girl is still very young, each will hunt with parents' help and secure a small bird or game animal (boys) or a fish (girls) that is accepted and cooked by the eldest grandmother in the family. The family gives thanks for this food and celebrates the child's achievement and food offering to the family.

These rites of passage help to make childhood memorable and sacred in the culture of the Cree.

Quebec First Nations

Maritime Province Nations

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A markerInnu Nation, Canada -
Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation Office, Sheshatshiu, NL A0P 1M0, Canada
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B markerNaskapi Nation -
Kawawachikamach, QC G0G, Canada
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Mi'kmaq
Mi'kmaq

Mikmaq Language

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Maliseet Woman

Maliseet Woman
Maliseet Woman

Maritime Provinces

NEW BRUNSWICK (NB)

  1. Union of New Brunswick Indians (www.unbi.org)
  2. New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council. Fredericton
  • Big Cove Cultural Centre (Mi'kmaq) Big Cove County
  • Buctouche Micmac Band (Mi'kmaq) Buctouche
  • Burnt Church First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Legaceville
  • Eel Ground First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Eel Ground
  • Eel River Bar First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Dalhousie
  • Fort Folly First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Dorchester
  • Indian Island First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Rexton
  • Kingsclear First Nation (Maliseet) Fredericton
  • Madawaska Maliseet First Nation (Maliseet) Madawaska Maliseet First Nation
  • Oromocto First Nation (Maliseet)Oromocto
  • Pabineau First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Bathurst
  • Red Bank First Nation (Micmac) Red Bank
  • St. Mary's Indian Band (Maliseet) Fredericton
  • Wolastokwik 'Negoot-gook (Maliseet) Maliseet Nation at Tobique. Perth
  • Woodstock Indian Nation (Maliseet) Woodstock First Nation

NEWFOUNDLAND/LABRADOR

  • Miawpukek First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Baie d'Espoir. Conne River, Newfoundland
  • Innu Nation. Sheshatshiu, Labrador
  • Labrador Metis Nation. Labrador.

Néthie Canada Mashteuiatsh Chant

NOVA SCOTIA

Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs (www.apcfnc.ca)

  • Elsipogtog First Nation; 249 A Unit Main Street, Elsipogtog, New Brunswick E4W 2X2;
  • Micmac Association of Cultural Studies; P.O. Box 961 Sydney NS B1P 6J4; PH 902-567-1752
  • Union of Nova Scotia Indians; P.O. Box 961 Sydney, NS B1P 6J4
  • Acadia First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Yarmouth
  • Afton First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Afton, Antigonish County
  • Annapolis Valley First Nation (Mi'kmaq)
  • Bear River First Nation
  • Chapel Island First Nation (Mi'kmaq)
  • Chapel Island, NS
  • Eskasoni First Nation (Mi'kmaq) East Bay
  • Horton First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Hansport
  • Membertou First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Sydney
  • Millbrook First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Truro
  • Pictou Landing First Nation [Language: MicMac; English] Trenton
  • Shubenacadie First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Shubenacadie
  • Wagmatcook First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Baddeck
  • Whycocomagh First Nation (Mi'kmaq) Whycocomagh

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

  • Abegweit First Nation Mount Stewart, PE Is. Language:MicMac;English
  • Lennox Island First Nation Lennox Island, Prince Edward Is. Language: MicMac;English

Pow Wow in Millbrook, Nova Scotia

© 2007 Patty Inglish

Comments & Additions

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    • teeray profile image

      teeray 9 years ago from Canada

      Excellent hub, including the photos and videos! I will return to watch these again

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Patty! Another great continuance to your Hub series.

      great HUB

      regards Zsuzsy

    • gabriella05 profile image

      gabriella05 9 years ago from Oldham

      It is a great pleasure to me to learn about other culture

      Thank you very much

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      Great stories and pull in phptos. It is a magic experience following you

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thanks, Everyone; I am overwhelmed by the comments. It is a real pleasure to do this series.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Amazing, Patty. Nice videos, too. One of my daughter's was stationed with the U.S. Navy in Newfoundland some years ago and wrote a travel article about it. It's interesting to see all this history about Native Americans in Canada.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thank you, William! The article by your daughter sounds really good.

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