First Nations, Inuit and Métis

June is National Indigenous History Month, opens a new window and a time of celebration, reflection, and recognition of the diverse cultures, traditions, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. Throughout history, Indigenous communities have faced countless challenges, yet they have persevered, maintaining their unique heritage and playing a crucial role in shaping the world we live in today.

In Canada, the groundwork for National Indigenous Month was laid with the establishment of National Aboriginal Day on June 21st, 1996. Over time, this day evolved into a month-long celebration, officially becoming National Indigenous History Month in 2009. The name was changed to National Indigenous History Month in 2017.

Each week will be dedicated to a different theme to highlight specific aspects of Indigenous history, cultures and perspectives. Explore learning resources on each theme:

"Indigenous peoples" is a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. The Canadian Constitution recognizes 3 groups of Indigenous peoples: First NationsInuit and Métis. These are 3 distinct peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs. More than 1.67 million people in Canada identify themselves as an Indigenous person.

First Nations

There are more than 630 First Nation communities in Canada, which represent more than 50 Nations and 50 Indigenous Languages. 

Learn more about First Nations:

A list of titles from First Nations history, politics, culture and literature.

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Inuit are Indigenous people of the Artic. The word Inuit means "the people" in the Inuit language of Inuktut. The singular of Inuit is Inuk. Many Inuit in Canada live in 53 communities across the northern regions in Inuit Nunangat, which means "the place where Inuit live."

Inuit Nunangat, opens a new window is comprised of 4 regions:

  1. Inuvialuit (Northwest Territories and Yukon)
  2. Nunavik (Northern Quebec)
  3. Nunatsiavut (Labrador)
  4. Nunavut

Learn more about Inuit:

A list of titles from Inuit history, politics, culture and literature.

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The Métis , opens a new windowNation is comprised of descendants of people born of relations between First Nations women and European men. Michif, opens a new window is the language of the Métis people. 

Learn more about Metis:

A list of titles from Métis history, politics, culture and literature.

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