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First Nation’s Life & History

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Thoughts and beliefs

According to writer First Nation people are following their traditional values and beliefs from ancient time. There is no change in their thought about their culture and they have connection with their land to stay in touch with historical events. They have respect not only for their language, family, community and land but also for other culture and nations. They believe that in community work all people are same and show their efforts for a better community. They believed that their history is saved by songs, stories and traditional practices because they are following oral culture in which children can learn about their culture when they listen stories from their elders. Next to it, they have some symbols to stay in touch with their history such as crests, house posts, petroglyphs, baskets, blankets, and paintings. Cultural stories are the key of spreading their beliefs, rituals and spirituality to generation from ancient time and today as well. (B.C. First Nations Studies pp. 8).

According to author they can choose a leader who must work for people to save the land and incline the economy. They have two way to choose their leader one with genetic relation and other is choose and select. They follow their rituals that are not easy, but some are very professional in this field from their birth time. They believed that one can get more power from animals, plants and from other sources and become more professional. In their culture, women are more active to make new hand create things like clothes and household products. They are believing in trading of food and other resources for not only meeting other but also for traditional aspects. Some trading products are those products which are not available in certain place where they lived so they can get from others and with this excuse they can meet with other families for dance and feast. They prefer to sit together in families and discuss issue for political and personal. (B.C. First Nations Studies pp. 9,10&11).

Moreover, they are fonder from past of gambling, challenges according strength and some games for laughter. They always share their knowledge, stories, experience with other families. They love to meet other people from other clan with different values. They feel more comfortable to take responsibility of families to make unity in community. They respect each other and give rights to everyone so they can easily make their choice in society with responsibility. (B.C. First Nations Studies pp. 11&12).

Land Connection

First Nation people have a huge relationship with land. From ancient time they look their status and joint with the land. Land is very mutual between all of them. They all have rights and responsibilities for not only to live but also care for the land. The families, community and some group have rights to take care of the land. In community, there is no person who have no rights and have no land. When European came they tried to do colonisation and taking First Nation land without any war or relationship. (B.C. First Nations Studies pp. 16).

First Nation people faced many difficulties to safe their land and to get amount for land that already they lost in previous time. They worked hard to save their title and relationship with land. They have more than two hundred bands in British Columbia and their oral tradition help them to maintain history in every generation. From ancient time they have a strong relationship with each one which are given by their ancestor, nowadays they used new techniques to reach their territories to keep their land safe and clean. There is no change in their love with land and resources. (B.C. First Nations Studies pp. 16).

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Residential school

The Canadian government started a system of school in which they want to educate and teach about Christian, Euro-Canadian cultural and knowledge bases. These all schools were mostly funded by Christian communities and churches. In Canada there were more than 139 federally sponsored Indian residential school. BC had 18 from them. Each school took attendance of children who were in age of 4-16. In school brother and sister were not allowed to meet and stay in touch to break the family bonding and habits. They were not allowed to use their own language, clothes, foods and traditional values, students got many problems if they do that things. They lost their identity, cultural practices, knowledge and skills. In school children faced many problems such as abuse behavior, sexual harassment, physical punishments. There was some disease which caused death for half students such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and malnutrition. The main motive of school was increasing the labour skills not education. (British Columbia in a Global Context pp 53).


From ancient time, First Nation people prefer to eat fish in their food. Fish have so many importance in their life. It not only gives nutrition but also help to make our bones strong. It is a source of protein and vitamins. People are attaching with this food from a long time. There are many kinds of fish which they prefer to eat daily with their families. They use eggs as well for energy. They love to eat Salmon, Eulachon, Herring, Sea food, Bivalves, Moose, Deer, Small Mammals, Birds, Seaweed, Roots, Berries, Plants. (Traditional food fact).

Fur Trade Era

According to writer, First Nation people’s life change when European came to their place. First nation people collect fur for trading and take that to ship. They show their respect towards newcomers; they treat them as a chief with respect. They always exchange gifts. They were trade also clothing, buttons, mirrors, and dishes. They trade iron, it was mostly used for tools which was better than stone and shell. Copper was a sign of wealth they traded it as a shield type of gifts. These were on high demand. Clothes were trade as a gifts and respect. Women also participate in trade system. Newcomers people of forts depended on First Nation people for food and fur trade. Men play a major role in trapping and trading but on the other hand women also followed them. They did their jobs to set the fur trade because it need time to prepare which was done by women also in home. Many women and men made relationship and had unhappy and happy marriage life with their partners. (Bishop Charles, John Reed Swanton). Fur trade era (1770-1849)

Communities and Population

In British Columbia and Ontario, there are 634 registered communities who follow their own traditional facts and language. They have their own customs and religious views. According to writer, there were 1.3 million people who show their identity as a first nation in 2011. They think creator give them life with natural resources so everyone should maintain the equal things for others also. They show their love to nature with songs, dance and ceremonies. They are living on reserve, more than 40 % people on reserve and they have unemployment status. (Hayley Simpson)

Indian Act

According to author, Indian act was firstly introduced in 1876, it has been corrected several times. It is only for First Nation people not for Metis and Inuit. It is an important document which contains many human rights and violations trouble happened in past, it helps to safe all human rights and status of First Nation such as it gives right to live on land which is on reserve. It shows about the status who is “Indian” and who is not. If a woman marries with non status man, then she will lose her status. (William B. Henderson).

Religious Practices

People have their own different beliefs and practices. They have different types of dance and ceremonies according to their religion. Some follow Sun dance, sacred winter ceremonies, Green Corn. They follow a believe that a superpower creator creates every aspect of life. They have an enormous presence of creator stories; they believe in trickster (supernatural seems in folklores). Some from them also contain cultural heroes. (Derek G. Smith)

Work Cited

  1. Campbell K, Kenneth C, Peacock B. B.C. First Nations Studies. British Columbia Ministry Of Education, 2003, pp. 8,9,10,11,12.
  2. Charles, Bishop, and John Reed Swanton. Greatbearrainforesttrust.Org, 2019, Retrieved from
  4. Green, Arthur. British Columbia In A Global Context. Geography Open Textbook Collective, 2014, pp. 16,53.
  5. Henderson, William B. ‘Indian Act | The Canadian Encyclopedia’. Thecanadianencyclopedia.Ca, 2019,
  6. Published February 7, 2006 Retrieved from
  7. Simpson, Hayley. ‘9 Things You Need To Know About Canada’s First Nations’. Culture Trip, 2019, updated 5 March, 2017 Retrieved From
  8. Smith, Derek G. ‘Religion And Spirituality Of Indigenous Peoples In Canada | The Canadian Encyclopedia’. Thecanadianencyclopedia.Ca, 2019, Published 04 Dec, 2011
  9. Traditional food facts Fnha.Ca, 2019, Retrieved From

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First Nation’s Life & History. (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from
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