National Indigenous Peoples Day


National Indigenous Peoples Day

From the Government of Canada website on National Indigenous Day June 21

“Indigenous peoples” is a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. More than 1.67 million people in Canada identify themselves as an Aboriginal person, according to the 2016 Census. Aboriginal peoples are:

  • The fastest growing population in Canada – grew by 42.5% between 2006 and 2016
  • The youngest population in Canada – about 44% were under the age of 25 in 2016

The Canadian Constitution recognizes 3 groups of Aboriginal peoples: referred to as First Nations, Inuit and Métis. These are 3 distinct peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs. The links below provide more information on each group:

  1. First Nations
    There are more than 630 First Nation communities in Canada, which represent more than 50 Nations and 50 Indigenous languages.
  2. Inuit
    Learn about Inuit, the Indigenous peoples of the Arctic. The word Inuit means “the people” in the Inuit language of Inuktitut.
  3. Métis
    Find out more about Métis communities in Canada.

British Columbia

There are 198 distinct First Nations in BC.  Each has its own traditions.  There are 30 languages and 60 dialects spoken.

  • View the map of First Nations in BC.

CRNS in three communities in BC’s Northwest (Houston, Smithers and Hazelton Community Response Networks) have an ongoing project on wellness and the land relating to traditional practices and medicines. The project has been developed on the traditional territories of the Wet’su’we’ten and Gitxsan peoples who have been stewards of the land for time immemorial. We appreciate their sharing information and wise practices from knowledge holders.

Further information from the Government of Canada can be found here: 

    • There is a large free database of information from the Federal Government on many topics and issues available free of charge – for instance, this document.

Publications on this site:

  • Stop Abuse– co-created document on Indigenous communities’ responses to issues of abuse (written with Indigenous communities)
  • Being Least Intrusive Paper – creating a culturally safe practice in relations with Indigenous communities.
  • Being Least Intrusive (Struthers and Neufeld) – tool with orientation to stepping into Indigenous communities; intervention section for community heath staff and mainstream health authority staff. (Written with the Kwakiutl District Health Council). Adopted by Vancouver Island Health Authority for their staff delivering services to Indigenous communities).
  • In A Good Way – a meaning centered practice for those working with Indigenous communities.

Please visit BC CRN’s Indigenous information page for more documents and weblinks.