Indigenous Heritage

The Sweetgrass Spirit Bear located on the main quad

The University of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.

There are three major indigenous groups in Canada: 

First Nations

First Nations people refers to status and non-status "Indian" peoples in Canada. There are 617 First Nation communities in Canada, comprising 50 nations and 50 aboriginal languages. There are over 700,000 First Nations people in Canada.

You can see where First Nations communities are located on this interactive map from the Government of Canada.


The Inuit are the Indigenous peoples of the arctic. "Inuit" means "the people" in their language of "Inuktitut." There are almost 44,000 Inuit in Canada, with the majority living in Nunavut, the most northerly area in Canada. 


Métis are people of mixed First Nations and Euro-American ancestry; they have their own culture and communities. There are almost 420,000 Métis people in Canada, with over 90,000 living in Alberta.