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Indigenous Awareness (Part 2): What You Need To Know!

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

If your business or organization is thinking about engaging with Indigenous Communities, there are a few things you MUST be aware of before your begin. The following information will help you understand what you need to know before you begin your engagement activities.

The following overview is a continuation of your Indigenous Awareness Training (See Indigenous Awareness Training part 1 here and Indigenous Awareness Training part 3 here). The following is part 2 and it is important that you understand what First Nations are and how each community works at the organization level.

For those of you who are about to work with Indigenous Communities or are interested in working with Indigenous Communities, the following information is something that you will need to know and understand before you start your engagement activities.

If you have any questions or need someone to talk with regarding your Indigenous engagement and awareness activities, please give us a call at (705) 657-1126 or by email:

Chi Miigwetch!

Indigenous Canadian


• No generally accepted definition of Indigenous Peoples in a global context.

• Some countries refer to Indigenous Peoples as:

• the people who were there first at contact or

• the nomadic peoples within their borders.

• There is no constitutional terminology for Indigenous people in Canada

• In Canada, the constitutional terminology of Aboriginal Peoples as stated in Section 35 includes: The Indian, Inuit and Métis

Related: Indian vs Aboriginal vs Indigenous: Which Term is Correct?

Indigenous Canada • 1,400,685 people had an Aboriginal identity in 2011

• Representing 4.3% of the total Canadian population.

• The Aboriginal population increased by 232,385 people, or 20.1% between 2006 and 2011

• Compared with 5.2% for the non Aboriginal population.

• The largest numbers of Aboriginal people lived in Ontario and the western provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia).


• 65025 people (2016) identified as Inuit.

• Outside Inuit Nunangat, there were 17,695 Inuit, making up 27.2% of the Inuit population. 3,860 Inuit People are reported to be in Ontario.


• 451,795 people (2011) identify as Métis.

• Represented 32.3% of the total Aboriginal population and 1.4% of the total Canadian population.

• "Métis" means a person who self identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of Historic Métis Nation ancestry, and is accepted by the Métis Nation.

Métis National Council (November 2002)

• Descendants of Native American women and European men

• Mixed ancestry

Chartered Community Councils (Metis)

• There are currently 29 Chartered Métis Community Councils in Ontario which are almost entirely volunteer operated.

• The Metis Nation of Ontario's (MNO’s) Community Charter Agreements continue to be the cornerstone for a strong foundation for the MNO to implement its inherent right to

self government.

• Community Councils are the catalyst in maintaining communication linkages around community development efforts as well as playing an important role in

fostering community empowerment and development for the Métis Nation of Ontario.

The Metis Nation of Ontario Registry

• The MNO Registry is the only recognized Registry in the province

• Extensive application process verifying ancestry