International Vancouver: Aboriginal Peoples

The Aboriginal peoples have been living in British Columbia for about 10,000-12,000 years before the European settlers discovered the West Coast.

Today, there are approximately 200,000 Aboriginal people in British Columbia and over 1 million in Canada.

Thus,the First Nation’s histories and traditions are very much integral to that of Canada`s. While they are often known as a specific group of people, they have very diverse identities within the group.

There are 198 distinct First Nations in BC including the First Nations, Inuit, Métis and children of First Nations and European settlers, speaking more than 30 different languages.

The sensitive relationship between the European settlers and the Aboriginal peoples has clashed at various times because of the different philosophies, political and economic beliefs and systems. While for many years the government did not recognize their rights, the BC government and the First Nations Leadership Council signed the Transformative Change Accord in 2005 as a commitment to each other based on respect. For more information, please visit

However, the tension between the two governments continues to be an issue as seen by the Idle No More protest movement occurring at the moment. This peaceful protest, originated by the Aboriginal peoples in Canada, is against the new Bill C-45 of parts that demises indigenous treaty rights by the federal government.

This two month rally has gained significant attention through rallies, teach-ins and social media. Join the Idle No More Facebook page for current updates!



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