ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

First Nations Aboriginal Peoples In Canada - Cultures and Histories

Updated on August 24, 2015
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.

Inuits and a traditional qamutik  dog sled at Cape Dorset.
Inuits and a traditional qamutik dog sled at Cape Dorset. | Source

The People - That Is Our Name

This is what one might hear from Indigenous groups in the New World in response to arguments that they are either First Nations or Native Americans.

Innumerable groups of Indigenous Peoples use a name or names in their own languages to describe themselves only as "The People."

Some of the Indigenous around the world add a few descriptive words; for example, "The People Who Have Always Been Here" or "The Real People" (Innuits) and similar phrases. Some carry a subtext of primacy in the form of "The First and Only People" (Han of Korea). Others add geographical references; examples being "The People of the Flint" and "The People of the Big River" (Ohio River). The word Eskimo is very much out of date and considered a slur by some groups. The word Indians is a slam among some Indigenous nations, bands, and other small groups, while being accepted by others. In Ohio, we have a combination of terms in our Native American Indian Center and in Tennessee, the Native American Indian Assocation.

In North America, the terms First Nations, Aboriginal Peoples, First Peoples, Indigenous Peoples, Native Americans, and several names south of the Mexican Border are government imposed and not people-chosen. None of these treaty-forced names means The People.

Research institutions often reference

  1. Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, or
  2. Native North (Mexican, Central, South) Americans and/or
  3. Pacific Islanders or
  4. Caribbean Islanders

in examining the populations of Western Hemisphere.

Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Trail in Ontario.
Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Trail in Ontario. | Source

Sweeping Changes

Wide ranging changes in the relationship between the Canadian Federal Government and First Nations groups preceded and permeated the Four Host First Nations' planning and implemention of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics that made history in Vancouver, British Columbia. For the first time, the Indigenous Peoples were 100% full partners and operators of an Olympic Games. Previously, they were considered more on the order of a curiosity.

One of the huge changes visible in the 21st C. is that of the number of accepted or officially recognized native bands and related groups in British Columbia rising from just over 200 in 2006 to over 600 in 2010. This is at least a 300% increase in recognition.

Native populations have inhabited North America for some 12,000 years or longer; even increasing numbers of committed Christian groups accepting that the Earth is at least that old. Older is harder to prove, because of limitations on the accuracy of carbon testing that result from variances from the mean date being too outsized to permit data to be useful past 60,000 years measured into the past.

Specific mitochondrial DNA haplogroups have been found in both Indigenous North Americans and the people of Altai 1,000s of miles to the west of BC in northern Siberian regions. When these Asians migrated and crossed the ice into North America, they first discovered America - rather than did Scandinavian Vikings. Moreover, the genetic markers have at last been spotted in Iceland (May 2011), confirming the existence of the Indigenous Peoples there long into the past. MIgrating around the Polar Circle 360 degrees, they likely discovered everything first in the Northern Hempshere.

Chukchi family and their home near the Bering Strait in the summer of 1816.
Chukchi family and their home near the Bering Strait in the summer of 1816. | Source

The First Of the First Peoples In North America

  • Canadian First Nations Discovered America First - Even though the Smithsonian Institution migration and genetics project is tracing the DNA and migration of human populations, much information is still uncatalogued. Every month, new Indigenous groups emerge and new stories are added the to human story. However, all signs point to Indigenous Asians being the first to travel into the New World across an ice bridge covering the waters near Alaska.
  • Extreme Cabin Fever -- Plubukto in Esquimaux Coping - In the DSM I, II, and III psychological diagnostic manuals, plubukto was listed as an endemic "Eskimo" mental illness. Around the Arctic Circle, life can be harsh and challenging. Living cooped up in an ice block igloo for six months led to this malady, since removed from the DSM-IV and subsequent manuals in the APA series.
  • Hubris and 10,000 Words for Eskimo Snow - Some people say "100" and some people say "17" words describe snow, and all of these people are incorrect. We really have found 44 different words in northern Aboriginal languages for snow and ice. Arguments between factions with only part of the facts has made war about how many words for snow the Inuit use. Until someone embeds himself with the Indigenous peoples around the Northern Polar CIrcle to find out, what either side of the word-war thinks is probably lacking in truth.Olympic and, afterward, the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games were prepared and held on traditional First Nation lands in British Columbia, Canada.

King Island, Bering Strait: Pathway Into North America

Indigenous peoples in 1892
Indigenous peoples in 1892 | Source
  • Native American Nations in British Columbia- A large expanse of land that is likely the home to the first North American Indigenous Peoples, British Columbia was thought to support approximately 200 bands of people in 2006. By 2010, over 600 had been identified.
  • Totem Poles in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New Zealand, Russia, Korea, and Japan. - Totem poles were produced in the Old World in a variety of places centuries ago, and even in the New World, before 1700.
  • A Totem Pole Is a Person: Master Carvers and Traditions of the Pacific Northwest- A Pacific Northwest carved wooden "totem" pole is a person, the story teller of a family or a community and it is a document that tells the history of its family and its chief. A chief and his wife may be cremated and buried in the pole with needs for the next life. Power animals appearing on the pole speak of the founding of the family clans by supernatural animal-humans as a part of the human foundation stories and religions. After over 100 years of recent research into "totem" poles, meaningful understanding of them and their cultural value is finally emerging in the 2010s.
  • Culture and Meaning in Totem Poles Among First Nations in Western Canada - Kwakiutl Lineage. The most famous red and yellow cedar Master Carvers are Kwakiutl and Kwakiutl-European aboriginals and descendants from the early 1800s to the 21st Century. The Father of Anthropology, Franz Boas, worked with them for 40 years. This article traces the lineages from Chief Wakius (Charlie James) and his age-cohort friends in Alert Bay on Upper Vancouver Island and across the water to mainland BC; along with Kwakiutl and Haida carvers in the Queen Charlotte Islands, or Haida Gwaii. The Kwakiutl, however, have longer unbroken lineages of carvers that present intriguing histories and works of art and memorial. This article traces lineages from Wakius through the most famous male carver globally, to the first female carver in Western Canada, and down the ages to their descendants like Bill Reid. Translations of some figures are also presented.
  • Four Host First Nations' 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics- 2010 was a historic year fr Canada and the First Nations peoples of British Columbia. The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic and, afterward, the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games were prepared and held on traditional First Nation lands in British Columbia, Canada.

Ukivok, Bering Strait

Ukivok -Indigenous deserted village on King Island in the Bering Strait, 1978.
Ukivok -Indigenous deserted village on King Island in the Bering Strait, 1978.
A Concise History of Canada's First Nations
A Concise History of Canada's First Nations
This is a good overview and timeline of all of the Native North Americans or Aboriginal Peoples across Canada.

Migrating to the East

Aboriginals In Ontario

Aboriginal leader at the 13th Annual Canadian Aboriginal Festival in November 2006.
Aboriginal leader at the 13th Annual Canadian Aboriginal Festival in November 2006. | Source

© 2011 Patty Inglish MS


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)