There are more than 630 First Nations communities in Canada, representing more than 50 nations and 50 indigenous languages. According to some scholars, the laws and policies of the Canadian government, including the residential school system, which encouraged or required indigenous peoples to assimilate into a Eurocentric society, violated the United Nations Convention on Genocide that Canada signed in 1949 and approved in Parliament in 1952.Today, it is a common perception that Aboriginal peoples in Canada have the right to self-government to provide the opportunity to manage historical, cultural, political, health and economic control aspects within First Nations communities. First Nations peoples were the original inhabitants of the land that is now Canada, and they often occupied territories south of the Arctic. The mixed-race people of Canada are a people with their own unique culture, traditions, way of life, collective conscience and nationality.
Indigenous peoples produced art for thousands of years before the arrival of European colonists and the eventually establishment of Canada as a national state. However, First Nations people living in these three provinces represented less than 4% of the population of each of these provinces. Many First Nations people lived in Ontario and the western provinces, but they made up most of the total population of the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. First Nations inhabitants represented nearly a third of the total population of the Northwest Territories, about a fifth of the total population of Yukon, and about 10% of the population of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
In Canada, the term indigenous peoples (or Aboriginal peoples) refers to First Nations, Mestizos and Inuit peoples. For example, the Mohawk nation of Akwesasne encompasses provincial (Québec and Ontario) and international borders (New York State), since its existence predates the establishment of the international border in 1783 (see also Indigenous Territory). First Nations inhabitants constituted 2.6% of the total population of Canada, while mixed-race people represented 1.4% and Inuit 0.2%. Nearly 8,500 First Nations children (3.3%) were not living with their parents, but were living with one or both grandparents in a family that jumped generations.
Following Canada's acquisition of Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territory in 1870, the First Nations and the Crown signed the eleven numbered treaties between 1871 and 1921.Nearly 1.4 million people stated that they were of First Nations (North American Indian) descent, such as the Cree, the Ojibway and the Mi'kmaq, alone or from other origins. First Nations peoples had been established and established trade routes through what is now Canada between 500 BC. C. and 1000 A.D.