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What are some Indian tribes in Canada?

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Quick Answer

Some First Nations groups or Indian tribes in Canada include the Huron-Wendat, the Dakota, and the Secwepemc or Shuswap. "Indian" is, as of 2016, considered a somewhat outdated term, and many indigenous groups in Canada prefer to use First Nations instead when referring to native ethnic groups.

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Full Answer

As of 2016, there are 617 distinct First Nations communities based in Canada. Some, such as the Dakota, also have territory within the borders of the United States. Others, such as the Shuswap, are exclusively Canadian. British Columbia is the province with the largest number of communities, followed by Ontario.

The Secwepemc People were the largest and most northern-based of the ethnic groups native to British Columbia. However, they were decimated by small pox once colonization began, leaving as few as 7,200 people alive by the end of the 1800s. As of 2016, their population has rebounded to early 19th century levels. They still occupy land in British Columbia.

The Huron-Wendat were a confederacy, similar to their rivals the Iroquois. The Wendat was eventually dispersed by the Iroquois and absorbed by neighboring ethnicities, though some splinter groups still identify principally as Wendat. As of 2016, the biggest Huron-Wendat reservation in Canada is the Wendake Reserve near Quebec City. A smaller group of Wendat live in the United States, at the Wyandot reservation in Ohio.

The Canadian Canupawakpa Dakota currently occupy Oak Lake Reserve in Manitoba. They are a traditionally nomadic group that would cross current borders between the United States and Canada, to follow migrating herds of animals such as bison or elk. Besides hunting for food, they also engaged extensively in the fur trade with European colonizers. Dakota fought in the Battle of Little Big Horn against General Custer, and also fought the Americans in the War of 1812.

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