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| Indigenous peoples|
In Canada, an Indian reserve (French : réserve indienne) is specified by the Indian Act as a "tract of land, the legal title to which is vested in Her Majesty, that has been set apart by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of a band."
First Nations reserves are the areas set aside for First Nations people after a contract with the Canadian state ("the Crown"), and are not to be confused with land claims areas, which involve all of that First Nations' traditional lands: a much larger territory than any other reserve.
A single "band" (First Nations government) may control one reserve or several, in addition some reserves are shared between multiple bands. In 2003, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs stated there were 2,300 reserves in Canada, comprising 28,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi). According to Statistics Canada in 2011, there are more than 600 First Nations/Indian bands in Canada and 3,100 Indian reserves across Canada. Examples include the Sturgeon Lake First Nation, which like many bands, has only one reserve, Sturgeon Lake Indian Reserve No. 101. Musqueam No. 2 and No. 4, and Sea Island Indian Reserve No. 3 are governed by the Musqueam Indian Band, one of many examples where a single government is responsible for more than one reserve. In 2003, 60 percent of status Indians lived on reserves.
Of the 637,660 First Nations people who reported being Registered Indians, nearly one-half (49.3%) lived on an Indian reserve. This proportion varies across the country.
Many reserves have no resident population; typically they are small, remote, non-contiguous pieces of land, a fact which has led many to be abandoned, or used only seasonally (as a trapping territory, for example). Statistics Canada counts only those reserves which are populated (or potentially populated) as "subdivisions" for the purpose of the national census. For the 2011 census, of the more than 3,100 Indian reserves across Canada, there were only 961 Indian reserves classified as census subdivisions (including the 6 reserves added for 2011).Some reserves that were originally rural were gradually surrounded by urban development. Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary are examples of cities with urban reserves.
One band Chief and Council commonly administer more than one reserve such as the Beaver Lake Cree Nation with two reserves, or the Lenape people, who are in Canada incorporated as the Munsee-Delaware Nation and who occupy Munsee-Delaware Nation Indian Reserve No. 1, consists of three non-contiguous parcels of land totally 1054 hectares within the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation 42 near Muncey, Ontario, which was formerly shared between them and the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation as a single parcel of land. Some reserves are shared by multiple bands, whether as fishing camps or educational facilities such as Peckquaylis, a reserve on the Fraser River which is used by 21 Indian bands; it was formerly St. Mary's Indian Residential School and is an example of a reserve created in modern times.Another multi-band reserve of the Sto:lo peoples is Grass Indian Reserve No. 15, which is located in the City of Chilliwack and is shared by nine bands.
In 1867, legislative jurisdiction over "Indians and Lands reserved for the Indians" was assigned to the Parliament of Canada through the Constitution Act, 1867 ,a major part of Canada's Constitution, originally known as the British North America Act (BNA), which acknowledged that First Nations had special status. Separate powers covered "status and civil rights on the one hand and Indian lands on the other."
In 1870, the newly formed Dominion government acquired Rupert's Land, a vast territory in British North America, consisting mostly of the Hudson Bay drainage basin, that had been controlled by the Hudson's Bay Company under its Charter with the British Crown from 1670 to 1870. Numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the sovereignty of the area. The Dominion of Canada promised Britain to honour the provisions of the Proclamation of 1763 to "negotiate with its Amerindians for the extinguishment of their title and the setting aside of reserves for their exclusive use." This promise led to the numbered treaties.
After the Royal Proclamation and before Confederation in 1867 the Upper Canada Treaties (1764–1862 Ontario) and the Douglas Treaties (1850-1854 British Columbia) treaties were signed. "Some of these pre-confederation and post-confederation treaties addressed reserve lands, hunting, fishing, trapping rights, annuities and other benefits."Governor James Douglas of British Columbia, which formally became a colony in 1858, also worked to establish many reserves on the mainland during his tenure, though most of these were overturned by successor colonial governments and later royal commissions once the province joined Confederation in 1871.
Between 1871 and 1921, through numbered treaties with First Nations, the Canadian government gained large areas of land for settlers and for industry in Northwestern Ontario, Northern Canada and in the Prairies. The treaties, also called the Land Cession or Post-Confederation Treaties,Treaty 1 was a controversial agreement established August 3, 1871, between Queen Victoria and various First Nations in southeastern Manitoba, including the Chippewa and the Swampy Cree tribes. Treaty 1 First Nations comprise the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Fort Alexander (Sagkeeng First Nation), Long Plain First Nation, Peguis First Nation, Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation, Sandy Bay First Nation and Swan Lake First Nation.
The rights and freedoms of Canada's First Nations people have been governed by the Indian Act since its enactment in 1876by the Parliament of Canada. The provisions of Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 , provided Canada's federal government exclusive authority to legislate in relation to "Indians and Lands Reserved for Indians".
Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve on Manitoulin Island is subject to the Indian Act provisions governing reserves even though its lands were never ceded to the Crown by treaty.[ citation needed ]
The Indian Act gives the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs the right to "determine whether any purpose for which lands in a reserve are used is for the use and benefit of the band." , retrieved 2006-11-07CS1 maint: ref duplicates default (link).Title to land within the reserve may be transferred to only the band or to individual band members. Reserve lands may not be seized legally, nor is the personal property of a band or a band member living on a reserve subject to "charge, pledge, mortgage, attachment, levy, seizure distress or execution in favour or at the instance of any person other than an Indian or a band" (section 89 (1) of the GCa (1985), Indian Act, Government of Canada, archived from the original on 2006-04-26
While the Act was intended to protect the Indian holdings, the limitations make it difficult for the reserves and their residents to obtain financing for development and construction, or renovation. To answer this need, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has created an on-reserve housing loan program. Members of bands may enter into a trust agreement with CMHC, and lenders can receive loans to build or repair houses. In other programs, loans to residents of reserves are guaranteed by the federal government.
Provinces and municipalities may expropriate reserve land only if specifically authorized by a provincial or federal law. Few reserves have any economic advantages, such as resource revenues. The revenues of those reserves which do are held in trust by the minister of Indian Affairs. Reserve lands and the personal property of bands and resident band members are exempt from all forms of taxation except local taxation.
Corporations owned by members of First Nations are not exempt, however. This exemption has allowed band members operating in proprietorships or partnerships to sell heavily taxed goods, such as cigarettes, on their reserves at prices considerably lower than those at stores off the reserves. Most reserves are self-governed, within the limits already described, under guidelines established by the Indian Act.
Due to treaty settlements, some Indian reserves are now incorporated as villages, such as New Aiyansh, British Columbia, which like other Nisga'a reserves was relieved of that status by the Nisga'a Treaty. Similarly, the Indian reserves of the Sechelt Indian Band are now Indian government districts.
Indian reserves play a very important role in public policy stakeholder consultations, particularly when reserves are located in areas that have valuable natural resources with potential for economic development. Beginning in the 1970s, First Nations gained "recognition of their constitutionally protected rights."First Nations' rights are protected by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. By 2002, (Valiente) First Nations had already "finalised 14 comprehensive land claims and self-government agreements, with numerous others, primarily in northern Canada and British Columbia, at different stages of negotiations." Land claims and self-government agreements are "modern treaties" and therefore hold constitutional status.
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), "places aboriginal participation on par with federal ministers and the provinces in the National Advisory Committee."Among other things, CEPA clarified the term "aboriginal land" in 3 (1): "The definitions in this subsection apply in this Act. "aboriginal land" means (a) reserves, surrendered lands and any other lands that are set apart for the use and benefit of a band and that are subject to the Indian Act." Under sections 46–50 of the CEPA, Environment Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) was initiated. NPRI is the inventory of "pollutants released, disposed of and sent for recycling by facilities across the country". The NPRI is used by First Nation administrations on reserves, along with other research tools, to monitor pollution. For example, NPRI data from Environment Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) showed the Aamjiwnaang First Nation in Sarnia, Ontario, was "ground zero for Ontario's heaviest load of air pollution."
By December 21, 2017, there were 67 long-term boil-water advisories that had been in effect for longer than a year.These are "public water systems managed by the federal government". There were also 18 communities that had "water issues for between two and 12 months."
According to statistics gathered by Health Canada and the First Nations Health Authority, in 2015, there were "162 drinking water advisories in 118 First Nation communities".In October 2015, Neskantaga First Nation reported that its "20-year boil-water advisory" was "the longest running drinking water advisory in Canada." Shoal Lake 40 First Nation was under an 18-year boil water advisory.
By 2006,nearly 100 Indian reserves had boil-water advisories and many others had substandard water. Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation, on an island off the British Columbia coast, had a boil-water advisory beginning in 1997. In October 2005, "high E. coli levels were found in the Kashechewan First Nation reserve's drinking water and chlorine levels had to be increased to 'shock' levels, causing skin problems and eventually resulting in an evacuation of hundreds of people from the reserve and costing approximately $16 million."
There are Internet access issues unique to native communities, especially far northern communities with limited or winter-only access and limited infrastructure.
Indigenous Canadians are the indigenous peoples within the boundaries of Canada. They comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Although "Indian" is a term still commonly used in legal documents, the descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have fallen into disuse in Canada, and some consider them to be pejorative. "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act, 1982, though in some circles that word is also falling into disfavour.
The First Nations are the largest group of Canadian indigenous peoples, distinct from the Inuit and Métis. Traditionally the First Nations lived south of the tree line, and mainly south of the Arctic Circle. There are 634 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.
The minister of Crown–Indigenous relations is a minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet, one of two ministers who administer Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC), the department of the Government of Canada which is responsible for administering the Indian Act and other legislation dealing with "Indians and lands reserved for the Indians" under subsection 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. The minister is also more broadly responsible for overall relations between the federal government and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.
The Indian Act is a Canadian act of Parliament that concerns registered Indians, their bands, and the system of Indian reserves. First passed in 1876 and still in force with amendments, it is the primary document that defines how the Government of Canada interacts with the 614 First Nation bands in Canada and their members. Throughout its long history, the Act has been a subject of controversy and has been interpreted in different ways by both Indigenous Canadians and non-Indigenous Canadians. The legislation has been amended many times, including "over five major changes" made in 2020.
The Indian Register is the official record of status Indians or registered Indians in Canada. Status Indians have rights and benefits that are not granted to non-status Indians, Inuit, or Métis, the chief benefits of which include the granting of reserves and of rights associated with them, an extended hunting season, a less restricted right to bear arms, an exemption from federal and provincial taxes on reserve, and more freedom in the management of gaming and tobacco franchises via less government interference and taxes.
The Snuneymuxw First Nation is currently located in and around Nanaimo on east-central Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Although the Snuneymuxw now only have a total reserve land base of 266 hectares, divided into small, separated reserves, they once occupied a wide region of south-central Vancouver Island where they lived for more than 5,000 years. Snuneymuxw Territory on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and the Fraser River in the British Columbia was in the center of Coast Salish territory. Their language is the Hul’qumi’num language.
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is the department of the Government of Canada responsible for Canada's northern lands and territories, and one of two departments with responsibility for policies relating to Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The Métis are Indigenous peoples in Canada and parts of the United States who are unique in being of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry. In Canada, they are considered a distinct culture, and are one of three groups of Canadian Indigenous peoples referenced in the Constitution.
First Nations in Alberta are a group of people who live in the Canadian province of Alberta. The First Nations are peoples recognized as Indigenous peoples or Plains Indians in Canada excluding the Inuit and the Métis. According to the 2011 Census, a population of 116,670 Albertans self-identified as First Nations. Specifically there were 96,730 First Nations people with registered Indian Status and 19,945 First Nations people without registered Indian Status. Alberta has the third largest First Nations population among the provinces and territories. From this total population, 47.3% of the population lives on an Indian reserve and the other 52.7% live in urban centres. According to the 2011 Census, the First Nations population in Edmonton totalled at 31,780, which is the second highest for any city in Canada. The First Nations population in Calgary, in reference to the 2011 Census, totalled at 17,040. There are 48 First Nations or "bands" in Alberta, belonging to nine different ethnic groups or "tribes" based on their ancestral languages.
Treaty Five is a treaty that was first established in September, 1875, between Queen Victoria and Saulteaux and Swampy Cree non-treaty band governments and peoples around Lake Winnipeg in the District of Keewatin. Much of what is today central and northern Manitoba was covered by the treaty, as were a few small adjoining portions of the present-day provinces of Saskatchewan and Ontario. The Treaty was completed in two rounds. The first was from September 1875 to September 1876. The Crown intended in 1875 to include only "the Indians [east and west] of Lake Winnipeg for the surrender of the Territory uncovered by previous treaties" including "the proposed migration of the Norway House band". Pimicikamak territory was north of the lake. It was included by accident or design of Tepastenam attending the Norway House signing. Additional peoples and groups signed on between 1908 and 1910.
The Numbered Treaties are a series of eleven treaties signed between the First Nations, one of three groups of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and the reigning monarch of Canada from 1871 to 1921. These agreements were created to allow the Government of Canada to pursue settlement and resource extraction in the affected regions, which include modern-day Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories. These treaties expanded the Dominion of Canada with large tracts of land in exchange for promises made to the indigenous people of the area. These terms were dependent on individual negotiations and so specific terms differed with each treaty.
In Canada, band, sometimes referred to as a First Nation band or simply a First Nation, is the basic unit of government for those peoples subject to the Indian Act. Bands are typically small groups of people: the largest in the country, the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation had 22,294 members in September 2005, and many have a membership below 100 people. Each First Nation is typically represented by a band council chaired by an elected chief, and sometimes also a hereditary chief. As of 2013, there were 614 bands in Canada. Membership in a band is controlled in one of two ways: for most bands, membership is obtained by becoming listed on the Indian Register maintained by the government. As of 2013, there were 253 First Nations which had their own membership criteria, so that not all Status Indians are members of a band.
Treaty 4 is a treaty established between Queen Victoria and the Cree and Saulteaux First Nation band governments. The area covered by Treaty 4 represents most of current day southern Saskatchewan, plus small portions of what are today western Manitoba and southeastern Alberta. This treaty is also called the "Qu'Appelle Treaty," as its first signings were conducted at Fort Qu'Appelle, North-West Territories, on 15 September 1874. Additional signings or adhesions continued until September 1877. This treaty is the only indigenous treaty in Canada that has a corresponding indigenous interpretation.
The Fort McKay First Nation (FMFN) is a First Nations government in northeast Alberta comprising five Indian reserves – Fort McKay 174, Fort McKay 174C, Fort McKay 174D, Namur Lake 174B and Namur River 174A. The FMFN, signed to Treaty 8, is affiliated with the Athabasca Tribal Council and its members are of Cree, Metis and Dene heritage. The FMFN's traditional lands include portions of the Athabasca oil sands.
The Cheslatta Carrier Nation or Cheslatta T'En, of the Dakelh or Carrier people (Ta-cullies, meaning "people who go upon water", whose traditional lands where originally where the Kitimat Kemano Project I was built, form a large portion of the Central Interior of present-day British Columbia, Canada, is a First Nation of the Nechako River at the headwaters of the Fraser River.
The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to Indigenous peoples in Canada, comprising the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
The Mathias Colomb First Nation, Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN), Mathias Colomb (Cree) First Nation, Pukatawagan/Mathias Colomb Cree Nation is a remote northern Manitoba First Nations, located 210 km (130 mi) north of The Pas and 819 km (509 mi) northwest of Winnipeg, Manitoba, which had two reserves under its jurisdiction, Indian Rreserve (IR) 198 and IR No. 199. They are part of the Treaty 6 and the main community is at Pukatawagan and consists of 1,536.6 ha on the shore of Pukatawagan Lake and lies about 210 km (130 mi) north of The Pas. Their second reserve was the Highrock reserve (CSD) located on Highrock Lake, 30 km (19 mi) downstream from Pukatawagan, which was dissolved by 2006.
The Beaver Lake Cree Nation is a First Nations band government located 105 kilometres (65 mi) northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, representing people of the Cree ethno-linguistic group in the area around Lac La Biche, Alberta, where the band office is currently located. Their treaty area is Treaty 6. The Intergovernmental Affairs office consults with persons on the Government treaty contacts list. There are two parcels of land reserved for the band by the Canadian Crown, Beaver Lake Indian Reserve No. 131 and Blue Quills First Nation Indian Reserve. The latter reserve is shared by six bands; Beaver Lake Cree Nations, Cold Lake First Nations, Frog Lake First Nation, Heart Lake First Nation, Kehewin Cree Nation, Saddle Lake Cree Nation.
Indigenous or Aboriginal self-government refers to proposals to give governments representing the Indigenous peoples in Canada greater powers of government. These proposals range from giving Aboriginal governments powers similar to that of local governments in Canada to demands that Indigenous governments be recognized as sovereign, and capable of "nation-to-nation" negotiations as legal equals to the Crown, as well as many other variations.