Indigenous Peoples in Canada

The Radium Hot Springs Public Library would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather and work is the traditional unceded territory of the Ktunaxa and Secwepemc peoples. 

Key terminology:

  • Canada’s Indigenous Peoples include First NationsInuit, and Métis.
  • Residential School System – The recent discovery of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Residential School brings new awareness to our shared histories of the impact of the Residential School System to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and other First Nations across Canada.
  • Reconciliation – See the entry here in the Canadian Encyclopedia.
  • Decolonization and Indigenization – See here for a brief explanation (from Queen’s University – Centre for Teaching and Learning)

Reading Lists

Local Nations

History & Learning

  • Online Courses (MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses offered free)
    • Indigenous Canada (University of Alberta through Coursera open learning). Can register anytime. Course Description: From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Topics for the 12 lessons include the fur trade and other exchange relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, Indigenous political activism, and contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions.
    • Reconciliation through Indigenous Education (University of British Columbia) Will help you envision how Indigenous histories, perspectives, worldviews, and approaches to learning can be made part of the work we do in classrooms, organizations, communities, and our everyday experiences in ways that are thoughtful and respectful. Reconciliation emphasizes changing institutional structures, practices, and policies, as well as personal and professional ideologies to create environments that are committed to strengthening our relationships with Indigenous peoples.
  • Indigenous (CBC Kids) – Facts, history, games and more.
  • Indigenous heritage (Library and Archives Canada) – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) acquires, preserves, and provides access to published and archival heritage material that represents First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation experiences and contributions to Canada. This includes text, photographs, maps, and audio-visual material. Explore the collection through our online databases, digitized documents and thematic guides.
  • Indigenous History (Government of Canada) – virtual exhibitions, timelines and Canadian history.
  • Indigenous Knowledge & Wisdom Centre (IKWC) – embodies the credible & authentic voice and inherent knowledge of its people while respecting the diverse cultures of First Nations in Alberta.
  • Indigenous Peoples in Canada – (Canadian Encyclopedia) – provides background, includes an education guide, podcast information and links to further reading.
  • Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada (Canadian Geographic) – provides images and article excerpts of the hardcover publications.
  • Inuit – history, traditional values and regional descriptions.
  • Inuit Cultural Online Resource – History and traditional life and culture of the Inuit.
  • Metis History and Culture – publications, exhibits and links.
  • Museum of Anthropology: University of British Columbia – Online exhibitions include: Squamish and Haida people, weavers in the First Nations community of Musqueam and the making of a Chilkat robe.
  • Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum (Learn Alberta) – Teacher resource includes links to worldviews, oral traditions, Elders, culture and language, kinship, etc.

Issues in Canada:  Indian Act, TRC, MMIWG, UNDRIP

Mapping and Traditional Territory Land

  • Native Land – research on whose traditional territory your home or work is located.
  • Whose Land? – Uses GIS technology to assist users in identifying Indigenous Nations, territories, and Indigenous communities across Canada. Learn about the territory your home or business is situated on, find information for a land acknowledgement, and learn about the treaties and agreements signed across Canada. Includes educational videos.

Travel Resources

Understanding and Becoming an Ally

Words & Language – Guides for Writing, Libraries, etc.