Category: First Nations Relations


A First Nation Man Performing A Ceremony

The First Nations people of the Canada are part of a bigger group of people, known as the Aboriginals  These people are the first inhabitants of Canada, and include the Metis, and the Inuit. In this post, we will be discussing about the First Nations and how they have impacted Canada and how we Canadians have impacted them.

The First Nations are communities of Aboriginal people who identify themselves as distinct cultural groups, who are the descendants of the original inhabitants of Canada and are neither Inuit or Metis. Each First Nations has its own name e.g. Sto: lo Nation or Musqueam nation.

The First Nations consider themselves as independent sovereign nations. They had various trade relationships with people around them. Different people from different tribes traded for commercial and peace-keeping reasons. These people value land/ property extremely. They had a stewardship relationship with their land, and had a people to land ratio. Unlike the European people, First Nations didn’t utilize metal, but used the abundant natural resources they had access to. From retrieving water to hunting, they used natural items to build and support themselves daily. Stories, culture, and tradition were passed down from elders to the children orally. There were no written work; everything was taught orally.

When the Europeans first came to Canada during the 17th and 18th century, they saw the land as “terra nullis,” or being completely empty. Not only that, the Europeans witnessed how the First Nations followed a complex religion. However, the First Nations people were cooperative people and welcomed the arrival of Europeans. For approximately 180 to 200 years, both the First Nations and the Europeans had a cooperative and collaborative relationship. The Europeans relied on the First Nations for various things, from navigation to food retrieval. First Nations people taught the Europeans about their land structure and about their daily lives and society. One of the biggest form of cooperation between these 2 groups of people was trading. The First Nations admired items brought from Europe and the Europeans were fascinated with the items the First Nations were able to build naturally. First Nations people traded items, such as metal, for fur, which the Europeans adored. There was intermarriages between the 2 groups of people. By doing so, this would keep the peace between the people as well as create and sustain a business opportunity with each other. The First Nations people considered themselves to be on par with the Europeans. However, the Europeans never really considered themselves equal to First Nations, but were essentially using them for their own benefits.

After about 200 years, the Europeans started to demand more fur items. But of course, more fur results in more animals being killed, which ultimately leads to extinction. So when fur became sparse, the First Nations started to supply the Europeans with their own food sources, which was the first thing they sold to Europeans (after fur became too difficult to retrieve). When the food sources became sparse as well, the First Nations now required money or some sort of currency to purchase items from the Europeans. This food source and money process continued for about 25 to 30 years.

Now, there was various incentives and reasons for the Europeans to arrive in Canada. First and foremost, Europe was undergoing various wars and diseases and to escape such troubles, they decided to cross the Pacific Ocean and settle in Canada. Not only that, Europeans from Canada were informing their home country about Canada and the vast land that is available (Europe was becoming extremely overcrowded during this time; massive population increase).

Eventually, the Europeans started to distant themselves from the First Nations. They didn’t require the assistance of the natives anymore, for they have become more or less educated in the land structure, food, water, etc. The First Nations still believed they are allies with the Europeans, but the Europeans thought otherwise.

As more Europeans continued to settle in Canada, they also brought along deadly diseases, such as small pox. This particular disease was rampant in Europe and as Europeans stormed into Canada, they were starting to spread the disease amongst the First Nations communities. Withing a 100 years of European migration to Canada, 50% to 80% of the First Nations population declined due to the disease brought in from Europe. The group of  people that were most affected by the diseases were children and elders. This became a serious problem in the First Nations community. The children were the future generation and the elders were the source for knowledge, religion, culture, and tradition. Not only that, in First Nation communities, everyone had a particular job, from the children to parents to the elders. Having the

A Group Of First Nations People Today

children and elders dying became a social and economic issue amongst the First Nations community. Trading amongst the Europeans further spread diseases in the First Nations community.

Eventually, Europeans became fully aware of their surrounding and had no reason to co-exist with the First Nations, thus they wanted to kill them all. One of their methods of killing them completely was by trading them “tainted” objects (e.g. diseases blankets) for trade, which would kill natives, one by one. Soon, it came to a point where the First Nations became week, in that their population had gone down substantially, and they had nothing to offer to the Europeans for trade; essentially, they became very weak.

A Group of Inuit People

The Inuit people of Canada are culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada. These people can be dated back almost 20,000 years ago for inhabiting Canada, and may have crossed the Bering Land Bridge to arrive in Canada. The physical environment in which they live in can be characterized by long daylight hours and moderate temperatures in summer and long, cold winters often spent in near total darkness. There are absolutely no trees observed in this area, but there are some low stubby plants and berries. Of course, due to Arctic being in the north, alpine glaciers as well as low lying lakes are common.

The Inuit peoples are descendants of Thule culture 1000 CE. They have a total of 8 separate tribal groups. Not only that, they have an Eskimo Aleut (Inuktitut) language group, which contains 6 dialects. The Inuit people are organized in regional bands consisting of 500 to 1000. These regional groups congregate in the winter time for seal hunting. Within these regional bands, the Inuits live together in smaller groups consisting of 2-5 households. The smaller group generally comprises of a married couple and their children, although elders and unmarried relatives might also be present. Having great cooperation within the household and sharing amongst each other was the predominant trait of the Inuit people. Essentially, selfishness was intolerable.

Marriage in Inuit society was nearly universal and occurred in early adulthood. Inuit children generally lived with the family of one or the other spouse. In this culture, children were greatly revered and thought of as extremely important in society. They were important in establishing valuable interfamily relationships. Having your children betrothed to someone was quite common in Inuit society. Family is the central economic unit of the Inuit, and as mentioned in the First Nations post, everyone was assigned a particular job. Children, parents, and elders all worked to ensure a sustainable community.

Inuit economy was mostly based on sea-mammal hunting, particularly seals. In addition to that, they hunted caribou and game in the summer. Fishing, whaling and polar bear hunting was also common. As can be seen, the Inuit people are fierce hunters. Occasionally, the Inuit would gather seasonal plants and berries. With all the food they hunted and collected, it would serve as a commodity but was also stored. The Inuit generally stored food through the methods of drying and caching.

The Inuit people were quite technologically advanced relative to their location and time period. Inuit technology included bone, horn, antler, ivory, stone, animal skins, baleen for basketry, etc. Inuit inventions were

Inuit People

considered “technological masterpieces” given available materials. Some of these inventions include:

  • Iglus, toggling harpoon heads and kayaks
  • Sleds and skin covered boots used universally while hunting techniques differ from person to person
  • Early domestication of dogs for hunting and packing

The Inuit people were semi-nomadic, in that they settled in accordance to hunting needs. The women were responsible for transporting households and the materials and possessions inside the household.

The majority of the Inuit clothing was made from furs and skins, with much regional variations. The general daily attire of an Inuit were parkas, gloves, and boots. Women usually dressed more elaborately than the men, although there were few adornments present on their clothing. Having tattoos on the face was a common aspect of Inuit women.

There were many vital and significant ceremonies celebrated at summer gatherings. These ceremonies began once an Inuit is born (naming, betrothal, marriage), as well as rights of passage (demonstrations of skill such as sewing and hunting).  In Inuit culture, the Shaman was the head of spiritual life and intermediaries between people and the spirit world. He/she decided the appropriate atonement for transgressions. Other worlds the Inuit believe in include the sky, centre of the earth, and beneath the sea. The Inuit people think there is an intimate relationship between people and the natural world. They have a strict adherence to rules and regulations (codes of conduct). Plus, dreams are considered to be important and symbolic in their culture.

Inuit children learn by examples from their parents and elders and education is believed to be a life long endeavour. In Inuit society, having a strong desire to be praised and attain social competence is incentive to join adult society. Having detrimental qualities (e.g. selfishness) in a collaborative society such as the Inuit one is greatly looked down upon. All lessons and teachings were passed on orally; no written work. Lessons were explained through “stories,” as well as traditional knowledge.

Artistic endeavors include drumming, throat singing, square dancing, and carving.

The Inuit people barely had any contact with the Europeans before the 18th century. They eventually adopted the usage of metals, but most technology they had before remained the same. In terms of religion, they are nearly all Christians today.

A Group Of Metis Women

The Metis people (before known as half-breed) are Aboriginal people of Canada who trace their lineage to mixed European & First Nation parentage in early Canada. European heritage is typically French or Scottish and while once though of as separate groups, this is not true in the current Metis society.

The formation of the Metis people occurred during the 18th and 19th century when the North American fur trade was booming. Many French-Canadian and British fur traders married First Nations and Inuit women, but mainly First Nations Cree, Ojibway, or Saulteaux. Many of these fur traders were Scottish, French, and Catholic. Therefore, their children became the Metis, where they were exposed to both Catholic tradition and culture as well as indigenous culture and beliefs.

Around the 18th century, the Hudson Bay Company promised Rupert’s land to the European settlers (farmers). However, there was an issue of land ownership, for there was already Aboriginals living in this area. Who the ownership should go to caused great conflicts, with not only with the Aboriginals and the Europeans, but also with the Northwest Co. Rupert’s land was a territtory

where 2 trading companies, Hudson Bay Company (the English) and the Northwest Co. (the French) competed for ownership. While the Metis were living in Manitoba for the short period of time (before they moved), they built a very distinct society. These people are similar to Aboriginal people in various ways:

  • Buffalo hunters
  • Farmers
  • Farm French-style (water is provided for all land)
  • Own leader; own government

John A. MacDonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada (an orangeman), wanted to unify Canada and he did by issuing the following 3 things:

  1. Tariffs- tax on goods from the U.S.
  2. Trade- trade with people back home (Europe and the Caribbean)
  3. Develop a railroad that will run across Canada for enhanced transportation (Canadian Pacific Railway)

Later on, John A. MacDonald sold the right to populate the land to the Hudson Bay Company.

Multiple Metis people were working for the North West Company, the Hudson Bay Company, and being fur traders. There were many others that worked as free traders, or buffalo hunters, providing pemmican to the fur trade. Eventually, the number of buffalo’s were declining, which forced the Metis and First Nations to migrate further and further west to hunt them. Not only that, because the First Nations and Metis were moving more westward, the Hudson Bay Company was forced to extend its reach in order to retrieve the fur. By doing this, the profits from fur trade went down. At the same time, the CPR was being built which continuously made it difficult for the Metis or the First Nations to live where they are. 1/10 of the CPR was populated in heavily congested areas, which forced a greater number of Metis and First Nations to continue moving westward.

Louis Riel

During this time, the Canadian government was making the First Nations sign treaties, known as the “Numbered Treaties,” which surrendered all the western plains over to the Canadian government. In return, the government would provide food, education, medical assistance, etc.

At this point in time, Louis Riel came, who was elected as the spokesperson of the Metis society. He was considered to be:

  • Educated
  • Intelligent
  • Greatly-advised

He formed a provisional government and demanded from the Canadians government that religion, language, culture, etc. would not change in exchange for the land they would give up. Once the problem was fixed, Louis Riel moved to the States, where he lived in Montana as a teacher

Soon after the provisional government was formed, the Canadian government produced a scrip system, where there were money and land scrips. These scrips were poorly formed in that it took almost 30 years before it was able to be issued and actually utilized.

The First Nations continued to move westward because the Hudson Bay Company said so (MacDonald had given the right to populate land to the HBC) and because the script system was overriding the First Nations right to stay in the land.Eventually, the Metis and the First Nations were moved out of Manitoba, and into Saskatchewan, where a similar incident occurred in Manitoba. Now that the Metis are in Saskatchewan, the Canadian government returns and wants to continue building the CPR.

The Metis heard that 500 NWMP officers were matching towards them, so they organized a provisional government called The Metis Provisional Government. Pierre Parenteau was the president, with Gabriel Dumont as adjutant-general and with the help from the First Nations chief clan, Poundmaker and Big Bear, they were able to retrieve Louis Riel from the States. Once he was back in Canada, they tried to  negotiate with the Canadian Government once more but failed miserably because the Canadian government had:

  • Money
  • A huge population in their nation
  • The reasons to say simply say “no”

The attempt to negotiate with the Canadian government was known as “Riel Rebellions.” Sadly, the Metis lost, and Gabriel and Louis fled to the States, and Poundmaker and Big Bear surrendered to the government. They had a 3 year sentence. Riel was charge with high treason and was ordered to be hung on July 6, 1885. His appeals went on shortly, but the government at that time demanded that he be hung, and so he was on November 16, 1885.

A River in the Canadian Shield

The area in which Subarctic people live in is 5 million square kilometres. Three quarters of this land is situated on the Canadian shield.  In this environment, many boreal coniferous forest can be found, with additional lakes and innumerable rivers. Mountains, plateaus, and Yukon lowlands are widespread in the Subarctic area of Canada. The temperatures are extreme, in that winter temperatures can go as low as -40C while in the summer it can go as high as 30C. Winters can be quite harsh, but fortunately, protection is offered by the forest cover and snow.

Dene, Carrier, and Cree, Inland Thlingit peoples live in the Subarctic. Algonquin people people dwell in the east, whereas Athapaskan people live on the west side. These 2 different language groups share similar ways of life. However, there is more differentiation in language and culture among Athapaskan speakers.

The Subarctic is the most sparsely populated region of Canada and there are estimates as low as 60,000 people

A Cree Woman

across the entire region. The Subarctic people lived in local bands of generally 25-30 people. These bands were nomadic, in that they moved frequently but within designated areas following seasons. These people survived hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathered wild plants for food. Both the men and women did hunting, such that the men hunted big game, and the women hunted smaller animals, fished, and processed hides and meat. Bands generally shared the land, but when it comes to certain areas (e.g. fishing sites), it was held exclusive from band to band.

There were no formal chief system established within the Subarctic people before European contact. People aligned themselves with people whom they believed to possess leadership qualities. These people lead egalitarian societies, where both the men and women were involved in making decisions. There was a high value placed on personal autonomy, in that if you disagreed with your band leader, you had the freedom to join another one; in essence, a flexible social organization.

The kinship ties differed over the Subarctic region. Athapaskan speakers along the Pacific drainage followed a matrilineal society, whereas the Athapaskan speakers along the Mackenzie drainage followed a bilateral society. The Algonquin speakers contained both bilateral and patrilineal societies. West of the Mackenzie, there were some clan divisions.These divisions regulate marriage, ensure hospitality and protection, and prescribe ceremonial obligations.

The Subarctic people carried very few possessions with them because of their need to follow food supply. The traveled light, and was able to construct new tools as required and discard them when moving on. For animal hunting, these people would generally use bows, arrows, traps, and snares. Dip and gill nets were popular tools used to fish. Other technologies used amongst the Subarctic people were snowshoes, toboggans, and canoes. Their homes were skin and bank based, conical or domes tents that could be easily broken down for travel.

The elders of the Subarctic people told the children about myths & legends focusing on animals that could transform into a human. These myths may include a  “culture her” in that he/she becomes the first human to acquire power. The knowledge passed down from generation to generation is synonymous with power. These people had an interdependence of culture and nature. Some of the Algonquin culture heroes and trickster figures were Nanabush and Wisahkecahk.

Religious leaders in Subarctic societies were people who used knowledge/power to benefit and help others. Shaman (healers) was believed to be able to intimately connect with the spirit world.

Iroquoian People Performing A Ceremoney

The area in which Woodland people is live is a part of a larger region stretching from the Maritimes along the St. Lawrence basin and to Illinois and South Carolina in the South and East. In this area, there are 2 unrelated language groups that inhabit it: the Algonquin and the Iroquoian.

The Iroquoian group includes members of the 6 Nations Confederacy: Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Huron. These people were great farmers and were primarily agriculturally based, where they grew corns squash, and beans (otherwise known as the 3 sisters). The Iroquoian people fished, hunted, and gathered enhanced (augmented) domestic crops. Contrary to most Aboriginal bands, these people were not nomadic, in that they had permanent settlements, where some groups were as large as 2,500 people! The population densities of these people were relatively high in comparison to other Aboriginal clans; estimates of 70-90,000 Iroquoian before European contact. There were several longhouses in villages, surrounded by pallisaded walls. These longhouses consisted of a number of related families. Housing was determined matrilocally,  i.e. husband moves into home of wife’s family. Not only that, Iroquoian society ran matrilineally. These people were augmented with clan systems (totems or crests).There was both a war and civil chief that governed these people. The confederacy included 50 permanent and hereditary

An Iroquoian Man

offices. Number of various seasonal ceremonies were performed by these people in relation to harvest, feasts etc; shamanistic society. Huron held extravagant and elaborate ceremonies of the dead, specially when villages moved. There were several many elaborate medicine societies with varied responsibilities.

The Algonquin speakers in the Woodlands include the Ojibwa, Ottawa, Algonquin, Abenaki, Mailseet, and Miqmac. There is very little horticulture in the Woodland society (subsistence purposes only). The food supply mainly came from hunting and fishing. There were also some wild rice and maple and birch syrup.

These people had less-permanent settlement than Iroquoian people but still more sedentary than people in the sub-arctic region. Their homes (dwellings) were much smaller than the Iroquoian and as said before, less permanent. They usually thrived in conical tipis or domed wigwams. Algonquin villages in the Woodlands vary by season, with the largest concentrations in the summer.

There were approximately 15-20,000 Algonquin speakers before the European contact. These people are quite famous for their ability to travel on water, and their graceful, birch bark canoes. Trading and visiting each other were key parts of the culture. The Algonquin people believed the Shaman was the most important religious figure. He appeases/ located games, cures, and wards of evil spirits, such as the windigo. These people believed there were no distinction between human and animal worlds. Season rituals as well as other types of rituals were performed by the Algonquins, such as  birth, death, and puberty. These people went on vision quests to find supernatural spirit guides or helpers at puberty.

Along the coast, the climate is cold and wet with moderate temperatures.  Near the Prince Rupert area, there is hardly any Sun. Cedar is the most important resource in the region. Cedar forms everywhere and is an essential part of their culture. They use cedar for culture, clothing, etc, almost for everything, even food and basket! Not surprisingly, Coastal people live in Cedar longhouses. Big families live in these longhouses. Cedar stripping is a popular activity done by the Coastal People.

These people are associated with a fishing culture, such as fishing salmon. Not only that, there is a clear differentiation

BC Coastal People

of bands (culture). They are able to produce beautiful art, known as Haida.

The following is a list of locations within in BC:

North People – Tlingit

Queen Charlotte Island and Alaskan people – Hadai Guaii

Bella Coola- Haisla/Heiltsuk

Nass and Skeenda- Tsimshian

North Vancouver Island, Cam

pbell River- Kwakwakwa (Kwakuit)

Middle of Vancouver Island- Nwu-chah-nulth

Southern Vancouver- Cowichan. These people are very skilled in knitting sweaters by hand. They have a special stitch and their clothes are almost waterproof.

BC Coastal People Performing A Ceremony

Group of Plateau People

The Plateau people have a very low population; very rare to find in Canada. Information about these people is very sparse and hard to find; nothing significant was known about these people until the 1800s . These people lived in plateau regions of Canada, hence the name “Plateau people.” Their location of origination is still a mystery, but some believe they came from the Subarctic or South America (Aztecs or Spanish). There are 2 main groups of language speakers amongst the Plateau people: Athapaskan speakers and Salish Speakers. These 2 language groups would keep to themselves and generally would not collaborate.

There were 3 rivers found where the Plateau people lived: Thompson, Mckenzie, and Fraser.

Plateau people were very fine deer hunters. They also fished, but wasn’t as important as deer hunting. In contrast to most Aboriginal groups, the Plateau people encouraged the arrival of white people (European); demonstrated great hospitality to them. Plateau society is completely egalitarian (totally equal).

In Plateau society, there was a Salmon Headman, Housing Headman, and Deer Headman. All these represent the bureaucracy in which the Plateau people lived by.

These people were nomadic during the summer, in that they moved around quite frequently. They followed where the game went. However, in the winter, they had permanent settlement. Plateau society had a strict division of labour in genders. Similarly to many other Aboriginal groups, the men did the hunting and the women did all the household work.

The Plateau people hunted quite a bit; they are professional hunters. Not only deers, but they also hunt bears and use

Necklace made by Plateau People

the fur from the bear for clothing.

The land in Plateau society is mutual property except for fishing works. Those sites are exclusion to certain groups of people.

Due to the geographical location of the Plateau people, food wasn’t of abundance, and thus it was very essential and sharing food was an important aspect of Plateau culture.

The Plateau people lived in pit houses (Salishan roots), which were permanent residence during the winter time. They used ladders to access their homes, and it kept the temperature warm during winter times. In the summer, tipis were used when traveling. Their clothing were mostly comprised of animal skin.

One of the most famous Plateau dances was the Powpow. The Plateau people had an animist religion. They believed there was no separation between daily life and religion. They also received songs while they dream; dreaming was very significant in this culture. They were mainly all Christians before, but the old religion is slowly coming back.

Plateau people in the US have an important winter dance done by only the Okanagan people.

An Elder from the Plains

Plains are the famous “Hollywood” Indians we see everywhere. In Canada, the population of Plains Indians are much fewer in comparison to the population in America. They are densely populated in the middle of North America. The continental climate consists of hot summers and cold winters. There are high grass prairies and cacti in the south. There are flat land, rolling hill, with numerable amounts of buffalo. In this area, animals such as elks, mules, and rabbits are also abundant (essentially anything with horns). The Plains Indian people were nomadic. They were organized into large groups of people.

The Plains Indians had a unique tradition of killing buffalo by leading them down a cliff. Once the buffalo reached the bottom and were dead, the women would slowly make their ways to the bottom and process the buffalo for food and fur. They would use every bit of each and every buffalo.

There were 6 languages in total, in which 3 of the languages were spoken in Canada: Black fur, Cree, and Ojibwa. There were also Athopaskan speakers (mostly found in Alberta). There is also another language, Siouin, but it’s not spoken in Canada.

The Plains Indians were a genderized society, in that the men would hunt for food and organizing the buffalo for the buffalo

ritual, and the women would prepare the food and perform the household duties. The women wore dresses, while the men would wear breach clothes. This society had a “horse culture” because they are very “moving.” Tipi Travois is the term used to describe “tipi on horse,” or in other words, portable housing. The Plain Indians were very decorative with their houses, jewels, clothes, etc. All their clothing material were of high decoration very ornate; much time are spent to make them. Due to their abundance of natural resources, they have all the time to make such extravagant items.

The band chiefs were not considered the leaders, but advisers when making decisions. Decisions, whether it be vital or not, were made through unanimous agreement. In this society, public shame and ridicule were carried out. Most Indian Plains groups live apart, but congregate in mid summer when buffalo hunting begins.

One of the most famous rituals of the Plains Indians is the Sun Dance. In this dance, an Indian man places hooks into his ch

An Illustration of a Plain Indian Man

est, which is attached to poles on the ground. He dances until the hooks rip out of their chest. The larger the scar is, the more braver and “manlier” the Indian man is. They also performed the ghost dance. This dance was done so that their ancestors would return from the grave and wipe out all the “white” people (Europeans) back then. In essence, dances in this society were of great significance.

The Plain Indians do not believe there is a separation between human and nature. Plus, religion was indivisible, in that all life is religion. They believed in doing vision quests. Dreaming was also quite important in their culture.  Buffalo is a key aspect of their daily life. If something with buffalo changes, so does their culture.

Term Definition
Aboriginal

An Aboriginal Woman

Refers to the original inhabitants of Canada and includes: Inuit, Métis & First Nations
Inuit

An Inuit Family

Culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada
Métis

A Group of Metis People

Aboriginal people of Canada who trace their linage to mixed European & First Nation parentage in early Canada. European heritage is typically French or Scottish and while one thought of as separate groups, this is not true in current Métis society.
First Nation

A First Nation Woman

Communities of Aboriginal people who identify themselves as distinct cultural groups, who are the descendants of original inhabitants of Canada and areneither Inuit or Métis. Each First Nation has its own name e.g. Stó:lo Nation or Musqueam Nation.
Indian

An Indian Man

1.      A misnomer referring to the Aboriginal peoples ofNorth and South America; term originates with Christopher Columbus

2.      A derogatory term used to refer to Aboriginal peoples of North America and South America (except the USA).3.      The legally correct term describing First Nations people in Canada (status or non-status Indians).

4.      The culturally accepted term for Aboriginal people in the US.

Band A group of people living together on an Indian Reserve. Similar to “tribes” in the US.
Clan Family groups within bands and/or nations
Indian Reserve

An Indian Reserve

Specified by the Indian Act as a “tract of land, the legal title to which is vested in Her Majesty, that has been set apart by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of a band.”
Indian Act of 1876 The Act of Parliament which governs First Nations people in Canada – both status and indirectly non-status.
Assimilation The process by which one distinct group of people in society gradually become culturally indistinguishable from the majority. Similar to hegemony.
Colonization The act or process of establishing control over a country or area by a more powerful and often distant country.
Appropriation Culturally, this is the adoption of specific elements of one culture by a different, and often dominant, cultural group.
Matrilineal Lineage which is traced through the mother’s side of the family.
Patrilineal Lineage or kinship traced through the father’s side of the family
Oral Tradition Cultural material, tradition and law and transmitted orally from one generation to the next.
Agency The capacity of an individual to act in the world. The opposite might be victimization.

Territorial Growth (Royal Proclamation of 1763)

One of the most famous supreme Court ruling regarding Aboriginal land claim is called Delgamuux.  Gitxsan and Wetsuwetan people asked the court to rule on whether or not they had title to the land.  They feel they do because (1) they have been on the land since time immemorial (2) their culture has laws (ayooks) that show how the land must be used/shared which demonstrates ownership (3) the Royal Proclamation of 1763 says they do (4) the government initially compensated them for lands that were being usurped, and in doing so, tacitly acknowledged Aboriginal titled.  The government says they don’t because (1) they didn’t use it correctly (2) when BC became a colony and Canada became a nation, the intent was that all the land transferred to the Crown so the title was extinguished (3) by moving to reserves, Aboriginals were implicitly forfeiting their title.

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