First Nation Relationship to the Land

“Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.” [1]

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First Nation Election Facts

Prior to the introduction of the Indian Act in 1876, communities were self-governing and leadership was designated according to each community's tradition. Under the Indian Act, elections became cumbersome, people could be nominated without consent, getting ballots to off-reserve members is an inaccurate process, contact lists are often not up to date, there is no provision for a re-count if the tally is close, and no advance polling. One of the greatest frustrations is that elections must be held every two years which is not a very big window for First Nation governments to accomplish anything long term. Times have changed (thankfully) since 1876.

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What are urban reserves

This is the second installment in our series on First Nation reserves. The first part provided some FAQs on reserves whereas this article will provide some information on urban reserves. According to the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website, as of 2008, there were over 120 urban reserves across Canada [1]. The province with the highest number of urban reserves is Saskatchewan with 54, including oldest, the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation urban reserve in Saskatoon, which was created in 1988.

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8 First Nation reserve FAQs

A First Nation reserve is a tract of land set aside under the Indian Act and treaty agreements for the exclusive use of an Indian band (First Nation). Earliest examples of reserves date back to attempts by French missionaries in 1637 to encourage Aboriginal Peoples to settle in one spot and embrace both agriculture and Christianity. As more and more Europeans settled in Canada and on the traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples, it became apparent to the authorities that an effective means to ensuring the most fertile land was available to European farmers was needed. The development of the reserve system met this need.

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BC First Nations

There is common misconception that BC First Nations are all the same.  

When you take a look at this map of BC First Nations Language Families, that the UBC Museum of Anthropology produced and gave us permission to reproduce for use in our training efforts, you can quickly see just how diverse they are. 

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Matrimonial Real Property Act

How long do you think First Nations have been fighting against inequitable treatment of First Nation women by federal government laws and policies? ........At least since 1869 and likely back to 1867 with the passage of the British North America Act [1] and Section 91.24 when the Federal Government gained control of Indians and Lands reserved for Indians.

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First Nations Cultural Differences

Understanding First Nations Cultural Differences is key to Working Effectively with Aboriginal Peoples®.  In fact, it should be rule number one. It will drive all of our decsion making; it will require us to do research, formulate appropriate strategies, and much more.  

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First Nations and Salmon Fisheries

Salmon have been a vital food source to many First Nations in BC since time immemorial but to many cultures, the salmon is much, much more than a food source. Some cultures believe salmon are their returning relatives, others believe they are gift bearing relatives; salmon feature prominently in legends, art and ceremonies. Prior to European contact, salmon was also an important trade item so contributed to the community economy.

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Respecting First Nations Cultural Diversity

“Anishinaabe, Métis, Coastal Salish, Cree, Cherokee. We have nothing much in common. We’re all aboriginal and we have the drum. That’s about it.” Thomas King writing about a drum circle in “The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America”

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UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


On September 13, 2007 the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by 144 countries, with 11 abstentions and four countries voting against it. These four countries were Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia. By the close of 2010, all four dissenting countries reversed their positions and endorsed the Declaration.

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