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Aboriginal Community

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Key Terms

Aboriginal People
A collective name for the original people of North America and their descendants. The Canadian Constitution (the Constitution Act, 1982) recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples - Indians, Métis and Inuit. These are three separate peoples with unique heritages, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.1

First Nation(s)
A term that came into common usage in the 1970s to replace the word "Indian."  It has also been adopted by some Aboriginal communities to replace the term "band." 2

Indian
The term "Indian" collectively describes all the Indigenous people in Canada who are not Inuit or Métis. Indian people are one of three peoples recognized as Aboriginal in the Constitution Act, 1982. It specifies that Aboriginal people in Canada consist of the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples.3

Inuit
The Aboriginal people of Arctic Canada. Inuit live primarily in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and northern parts of Labrador and Quebec. They have traditionally lived above the tree line in the area bordered by the Mackenzie Delta in the west, the Labrador coast in the east, the southern point of Hudson Bay in the south and the High Arctic islands in the north.4

Métis
Métis means a person, who self identifies as Métis, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry, is distinct from other Aboriginal Peoples and is accepted by the Métis Nation (Métis Nation Council, 2009).5

Resources and Links

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)
Supports Aboriginal people (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and Northerners in their efforts to improve social well-being and economic prosperity; develop healthier, more sustainable communities; and participate more fully in Canada's political, social and economic development - to the benefit of all Canadians.

Aboriginal Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program
Aboriginal Healthy Babies Healthy Children (AHBHC) is designed to help all Aboriginal children in Ontario get the best start in life.

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) is a national Aboriginal broadcaster, with programming by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples, to share with all Canadians as well as viewers around the world.

CBC Aboriginal
Aboriginal current news and events.

First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada
The purpose of the Caring Society is to promote well-being of all First Nations children, youth, families and communities with a particular focus on the prevention of, and response to, child maltreatment.

Inuit Women of Canada
Pauktuutit fosters awareness of the needs of Inuit women, advocates for equity and social improvements, and encourages their participation in the community, regional and national life of Canada.

Peel Data Centre
Contains in-depth reports on data from the 2001, 2006 and 2011 Censuses for Peel and the GTA, with specific Aboriginal demographics.

1 - 4 Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, 2009
5 The full text of the definition is available at www.metisnation.ca (accessed June 25, 2009).

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