Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Canadian Indian Research

This site is for Canadian Indian research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. For United States Native American Research click here.

In Canada there are now three different groups of aboriginal natives; First Nation, Inuit and Metis.  For the purposes of this website, it is important to establish the meanings of terms as follows:

First Nation - This is a legal term established by the government of Canada. It is used to encompass all aboriginal natives in Canada that are not Metis or Inuit.  This term is used to group together many different ethnic groups that have different customs, customs, histories, geographic locations.  The First Nation people are scattered throughout Canada. 
Indian - This term is used by the Canadian Government synonymously with First Nation.
Inuit - Inuit describes all the eskimo people in Canada and Greenland and many of the people in Alaska.  Although the term Eskimo is the only term that encompasses all these people, it has fallen out of favor with Canadians and the people in Greenland.  The Inuits are located mainly above the Arctic tree line - which forms the southern border.

Metis - Metis are aboriginal people that can trace their ancestry back to parents of mixed First Nation and European blood.  Initially there was a distinction between a mixture of First Nation with French and a mixture of First Nation with British Isles.  Other former names—many of which are now considered to be offensive—include Bois-Brûlés, Mixed-bloods, Half-breeds, Bungi, Black Scots and Jackatars.

The Métis homeland includes regions scattered across Canada, as well as parts of the northern United States (specifically Montana, North Dakota, and northwest Minnesota).

Metis Indian Search Engine

An important tool to help find information about Metis ancestry click here.