There are currently more than 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands, representing more than 52 nations and more than 60 languages. Around 55% of Canada's Indigenous population lives on-reserve and 45% reside off-reserve in urban, rural, special access and remote areas.
Under Section thirty-five of the 1982 Canadian Constitution Act, Indigenous peoples in Canada comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The terms 'First Peoples' or 'Aboriginals' are much more broader terms to describe the Inuit, Métis and First Nations; however, the term 'Aboriginal' in particular is still viewed disfavorably by Indigenous Peoples with a stronger sense of Nationhood; like the Anishinabek, who formally rejected the use of the term in 2009.
Symantics aside, the Indigenous peoples within the Canadian State face a number of significant challenges in the areas of political autonomy, cultural recognition, control and use of resources, economic security and access to basic rights.
Indigenous Peoples also face a considerable amount of discrimination from every level of government. In fact, one could even say that, when it comes to Indigenous peoples, Canada has been pursuing a social policy based on the principles of white Nationalism since the earliest days of the Confederacy. It continues to pursue that same policy today, eventhough Canada is often regarded as a human rights Champion by the International community. Nothing could be further from the truth.
November 23, 2013
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