Search for "First Nations"

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Six Nations of the Grand River

Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario, is the common name for both a reserve and a Haudenosaunee First Nation. The reserve, legally known as Six Nations Indian Reserve No. 40, is just over 182 km2, located along the Grand River in southwestern Ontario. As of 2019, Six Nations has 27,559 registered band members, 12,892 of whom live on-reserve. Six Nations is the largest First Nations reserve in Canada by population, and the second largest by size. There are several individual communities within the reserve, the largest of which is Ohsweken, with a population of approximately 1,500. (See also Reserves in Ontario.)

Six Nations is home to the six individual nations that form the Hodinöhsö:ni’ Confederacy (Haudenosaunee). These nations are the Kanyen’kehaka (Mohawk), Onyota’a:ka (Oneida), Onöñda’gega’ (Onondaga), Gayogohono (Cayuga), Onöndowága’ (Seneca) and Skaru:reh (Tuscarora).

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Ross River

Ross River, Yukon, settlement, population 293 (2016 census), 352 (2011 census). Ross River is located at the confluence of the Ross and Pelly rivers. It is on the Canol Road (seeCanol Pipeline) at the halfway point on the Campbell Highway. Ross River is 360 km by road northeast of Whitehorse.

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Teslin

Teslin, Yukon, incorporated as a village in 1984, population 124 (2016 census), 122 (2011 census). The village of Teslin is located on Teslin Lake at the mouth of the Nisutlin River. It is on the Alaska Highway, 183 km by road southeast of Whitehorse.

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Kawartha Lakes (Ont)

Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, incorporated as a city in 2001, population 75,423 (2016 census), 73,214 (2011 census). The city of Kawartha Lakes is located almost immediately west and north of Peterborough. Kawartha Lakes was created in 2001 by the amalgamation of all the municipalities in the former county of Victoria, including Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, Verulam, Fenelon Falls, Omemee, Sturgeon Point, Woodville and 10 townships. The name is taken from the name given to a group of lakes in the area, the Kawartha Lakes. The name was given to these lakes in 1895.

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Kainai Nation (Blood Tribe)

The Kainai (G-ai-nah) Nation, otherwise known as the Blood Tribe, is a First Nation based in southern Alberta. Kainai Nation holds two reserves, Blood 148 and Blood 148A. Blood 148, the nation’s primary reserve, is the largest First Nation reserve by area in Canada. It covers 1,342.9 km², and is located southwest of the city of Lethbridge, north of the town of Cardston, and east of Pincher Creek. The nation’s second reserve is known as a “timber limit” and is used for hunting and fishing. As of 2020, there are 8,517 people living on the primary reserve, making it one of the most populous reserves in Canada. In total, Kainai Nation has 12,693 registered band members. (See also Reserves in Alberta.)

The Kainai Nation is a signatory to Treaty 7. Mi’k ai’stoowa (Red Crow) signed on behalf of the nation in 1877. (See also History of Kainai Nation (Blood Tribe).)

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Reserves in Alberta

There are 138 reserves in Alberta. Members of Alberta’s 47 First Nations live in these communities. In addition, two First Nations — Salt River and Onion Lake Cree — are based in other provinces or territories, but have reserve land in Alberta. In 2019, there were 131,697 registered Indians living in Alberta, 58 per cent of whom lived on reserves. The remainder live in other municipalities. First Nations in Alberta are typically grouped into three areas based on Treaties 6, 7 and 8 (see also Numbered Treaties). While historically the Canadian government assigned reserves to First Nations people and not Métis or Inuit, Alberta is the only province in which Métis people were given a collective land base (see Métis Settlements).

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Reserves in Quebec

There are 30 reserves in Quebec, held by 25 First Nations. In addition, there are 15 Inuit, 9 Cree and 1 Naskapi community whose lands fall under the jurisdiction of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Northeastern Quebec Agreement. Because they are not governed by the Indian Act, these communities are technically not reserves. There are also five First Nations in Quebec that do not have reserve lands (Long Point First Nation, Communauté anicinape de Kitcisakik, Wolf Lake First Nation, Montagnais de Pakua Shipi and Nation MicMac de Gespeg). This is the largest number of First Nations without reserve land of any province. Finally, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has a reserve that is partly in Quebec, Ontario and New York state. As of 2019, there are 91,293 registered Indians in Quebec, 63 per cent of whom live on reserve.

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Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory

Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory is a reserve located on the eastern peninsula of Manitoulin Island in Ontario. The reserve is held by the Wiikwemkoong First Nation, which is composed of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi peoples. Together, these nations form the Three Fires Confederacy. As an unceded reserve, Wiikwemkoong has not relinquished its land through treaty or other means. (See also Reserves in Ontario.)

The Wiikwemkoong First Nation has a registered population of 8,330, with an on-reserve population of 3,208 (2020). Formerly known as Manitoulin Island Unceded Indian Reserve, the reserve changed its name to Wiikwemkong Unceded Indian Reserve in 1968 when it amalgamated with Point Grondine First Nation and South Bay First Nation. The name was changed again, in 2014, to its current name, though the federal government still refers to the reserve as the Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve.

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Tsiigehtchic

Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, population 187 (2019). Tsiigehtchic is located at the confluence of the  Mackenzie and Arctic Red rivers. It is home to the Gwichya Gwich’in First Nation (“people of the flat lands”) who speak an Athapaskan language (see Indigenous Languages in Canada). Formerly known as Arctic Red River, the community’s name was changed to Tsiigehtchic (“at the mouth of iron river”) in 1994. The community is on the Dempster Highway. It is accessible by summer ferry across the Mackenzie River and in winter by ice road. Tsiigehtchic is one of four communities in the Gwich’in Settlement Region. The region is an area created by the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (1992). The other three communities in the region are AklavikFort McPherson and Inuvik. (See also Dinjii Zhuh (Gwich'in).)

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Fort McPherson

Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, population 741 (2020). The hamlet of Fort McPherson is located on the right bank of the Peel River, on the Dempster Highway. It is west of the Mackenzie River and east of the Richardson Mountains. Fort McPherson is called Teetł’it Zheh (“head of the waters-town”) in Gwich’in, an Athapaskan language (see Indigenous Languages in Canada). The hamlet is home to the Teetł’it Gwich’in First Nation (“people of the headwaters”). Fort McPherson is one of four communities in the Gwich’in Settlement Region. The region is an area created by the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (1992). The other three communities in the region are Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic and Inuvik.

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Point Pelee National Park

Point Pelee National Park (established 1918) is a protected area at the tip of Point Pelee, a long peninsula extending into the western end of Lake Erie, south of Leamington, Ontario. Middle Island — Canada’s southernmost piece of land located southwest of Point Pelee — was added to the park in 2000. At 15 km2, Point Pelee National Park is Canada’s second smallest national park. It’s also the southernmost tip of Canada’s mainland, located further south than northern California.

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Prince Albert

Prince Albert, SK, incorporated as a city in 1904, population 35,926 (2016 census), 35,129 (2011 census). The City of Prince Albert is located on the south shore of the North Saskatchewan River near the geographical centre of the province. As Saskatchewan's "Gateway to the North," open prairie lies to the south of the city and lakes and forests to the north. Prince Albert is Saskatchewan's third largest city.

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Reserves in Manitoba

There are 376 reserves in Manitoba, held by 63 First Nations. In addition, Animakee Wa Zhing, a First Nation based in Ontario, has a reserve that straddles the Ontario-Manitoba border. As of 2019, there were 162,787 registered Indians in Manitoba, 58 per cent of whom lived on-reserve. Manitoba is also a key part of the Métis Nation’s homeland and has a large Métis population. However, for a variety of historical reasons, Métis do not hold reserves (see Métis Scrip in Canada; Manitoba Act of 1870).

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Reserves in Ontario

There are 205 reserves in Ontario, held by 123 First Nations. In 2019, there were 218,451 registered Indians living in Ontario, 44 per cent of whom lived on reserves. Reserves in Ontario are held by Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Haudenosaunee, Delaware and Algonquin peoples. There are also a handful of First Nations in Ontario who, for a variety of reasons, do not have reserve land.

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Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay, ON, incorporated as a city in 1970, population 107,909 (2016 census), 108,359 (2011 census). The City of Thunder Bay was created by the amalgamation of the cities of Fort William and Port Arthur and the townships of Neebing and McIntyre. It is located in northwestern Ontario on the west shore of the Lake Superior bay of the same name. Thunder Bay is situated on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, and the land is covered by the Robinson-Superior Treaty. The Port of Thunder Bay is a western stop along the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Seaway. The region’s geography is dominated by the rocks, lakes and forests of the Canadian Shield. Surrounding communities depend on tourism or resource extraction, and look to Thunder Bay for a wide variety of services.

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Reserves in the Northwest Territories

There are two reserves in the Northwest Territories. In addition, of the territory’s remaining 32 communities, 28 have a majority Indigenous population. Dene, Inuvialuit and Métis people are the primary Indigenous groups living in these communities. The territory’s two reserves are Hay River Dene 1, held by the Kátł’odeeche First Nation, and Salt River No. 195, held by the Salt River First Nation. The Northwest Territories differs from much of southern Canada, where several provinces have hundreds of reserves, and where large percentages of First Nations people live in these communities. While Treaty 8 and Treaty 11 — which taken together cover most of the territory — provided for reserves, none were created in the years immediately following their signing. The reasons for the limited number of reserves in such a large region are rooted in a complicated history.

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Self-Governing First Nations in Yukon

There are 14 First Nations in Yukon. Eleven of these nations are self-governing, while the remaining three are governed under the Indian Act. The 11 self-governing First Nations have legislative and executive powers much like a province or territory. In 1993, they signed the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA) with the governments of Canada and Yukon. The UFA served as the foundation for individual self-governing agreements made between each First Nation and the territorial and federal governments. These individual agreements were signed between 1993 and 2006. (See also Comprehensive Land Claims.) While the focus of this article is the 11 self-governing First Nations, the remaining three First Nations in Yukon are White River, Liard and Ross River.