Canada's constitution (Canada Act, 1982) specifies three categories of "aboriginal peoples": Indians, Inuit, and Métis. The preferred collective term today is "First Nations," with its implication of many separate, formerly sovereign, entities. Indigenous Canadian peoples have historically suffered civil-rights abuses under the Canadian federal government. With increasing populations in the twenty-first century, however, these people have begun to enjoy more rights from the national leadership. In 2015 newly elected prime minister Justin Trudeau promised to establish better relations with aboriginal Canadians than previous administrations had maintained.
First Nations form by far the largest and most diverse of these categories. On contact with Europeans, First Nations people occupied all but the northernmost reaches of Canada. Great differences in language,...Read more