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First Nations

  • By: Carolyn J. Peters
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

First Nations is a term that refers to more than 600 groups of indigenous peoples in North America exclusively, and does not refer to indigenous peoples on other continents. The term First Nations can be somewhat misleading. Collectively, First Nations includes Métis and Aboriginal peoples. There is not complete agreement about including Inuit people in the definition of First Nations.

History of the First Nations

First Nations people have not seen themselves as a nation. However, they were identified as the first inhabitants of North America by the European explorers who migrated in the mid- to late 1800s to what later became known as North America. When Europeans settled in North America, trading occurred between the early settlers and the First Nations people. At that time, the ...

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