Indigenous peoples and communities
‘Indigenous peoples' is a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. Often, ‘Aboriginal peoples' is also used.
The Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples: Indians (more commonly referred to as First Nations), Inuit and Métis. These are three distinct peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
More than 1.67 million people in Canada identify themselves as an Aboriginal person, according to the 2016 Census. Aboriginal peoples are:
- the fastest growing population in Canada – grew by 42.5% between 2006 and 2016
- the youngest population in Canada – about 44% were under the age of 25 in 2016
There are more than 630 First Nation communities in Canada, which represent more than 50 Nations and 50 Indigenous languages.
Learn about Inuit, the Indigenous peoples of the Arctic. The word Inuit means "the people" in the Inuit language of Inuktitut.
Find out more about Métis communities in Canada and the Powley Decision.
Learn about the Indigenous arts, culture and heritage that are woven into the fabric of our country.
Find Indigenous communities in Canada by using these maps.
Consult the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report, the Report of the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, and more.
Learn about support for strong, effective and sustainable governments in First Nation communities.
Find out more about community-driven projects to improve the lives of Indigenous and Northern individuals, families and communities.
Find out how federal employees in the National Capital Region can learn directly from Indigenous Elders through teachings, guidance and advice.