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.

Learn about Indigenous Canada from the Faculty of Native Studies in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. 

There are three major indigenous groups in Canada:

First Nations

First Nations refer to status and non-status Indigenous peoples in Canada. There are 617 First Nation communities in Canada, comprising 50 nations and 50 aboriginal languages; Canada includes over 700,000 First Nations people.

You can see the locations of First Nations communities 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 northern 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.

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