Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Canada, First Nations
Pamela Rae Huteson
The First Nations of Canada are Indigenous Peoples whose cultures, traditions, and languages are as distinct as their regions of habitat. After immigrating to the North American continent long ago, their lifestyles diverged, ranging from the nomadic hunters of the West Coast, with their totems blanched by age and weathered environs, to the semisettled farmers of the East Coast, with fields of zea mayz. Europeans arrived to seize or reduce hunting and farming territories, and the First Nations became strangers in their own land. With European colonization, Indigenous Peoples saw their tribal religions, family lives, and cultures drastically changed and their tribal paraphernalia taken to museums. They were encouraged to reform their basic tribal personality structure and become “civilized” into the European mass culture. Indigenous Peoples continue to meet contemporary challenges. This entry describes the origins of the varied First Nations, their experience of colonization, and the contemporary situation. Once, ...