There are more than 630 First Nations communities in Canada, representing more than 50 nations and 50 indigenous languages. The following is a partial list of the First Nations peoples of Canada, organized by linguistic-cultural area. It only includes First Nations people, which, by definition, excludes Canadian mixed-race and Inuit groups. The areas used here are in accordance with those developed by the ethnologist and linguist Edward Sapir and used by the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
First Nations people who have decided to give up their status rights or who have lost them through mixed marriages with people of European descent are called Indians without status. Forty-five percent of First Nations children (116, 37) lived in a family with both parents, 37.1% (96.04) lived in a single-parent family, and 8.7% (22.44) lived in a reconstituted family as stepchildren. Today, Canada is home to some 1.7 million citizens who claim to be of Aboriginal descent (or about four percent of the total population), most of whom identify themselves as members of specific tribal communities, or First Nations, that have existed for centuries. The leaders of some tribes on the plains wore large headdresses made of feathers, something that some wrongly attribute to all First Nations peoples.
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. An estimated 200,000 First Nations (Indians) and Inuit people were living in what is now Canada when Europeans began to settle there in the 16th century. In 1763, King George III of Great Britain (1738-1820) issued a Royal Proclamation in which Great Britain (and later Canada) pledged to occupy only those lands in North America that had been “ceded or purchased from Indian nations”. 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.
Canadian aborigines, also known as Canadian natives, the First Nations of Canada, the indigenous Canadians or the Canadian Indians, are the current descendants of the first human inhabitants of North America. Nearly 1.4 million people stated that they were of First Nations (North American Indians) descent, such as the Cree, the Ojibway and the Mi'kmaq, alone or from other origins. The highest body representing Aboriginal interests in Canada is the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), a congress of representatives of indigenous nations from across Canada. First Nations and Inuit peoples tend to have higher fertility rates than the non-Aboriginal population, while mixed-race people have a slightly higher fertility rate than the non-Aboriginal population.
More information about the National Household Survey can be found in the National Household Survey User Guide, catalog number. Large tracts of land were never taken from First Nations by treaty, and several groups are still negotiating land claims and self-government with the federal and provincial governments. First Nations inhabitants represented most of the total population of the Northwest Territories, followed by Yukon, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.