Canada is most proud of its Indian tribes, which are broken down into three major categories. The following list highlights each of them. Each category encompasses several different tribes. The tribes all have different cultures and history, and they share both differences and similarities.

The Inuits

This group of indigenous people has lived in the Inuit Nunangat since their existence. Nunangat makes up about fifty percent of the coastland and about thirty-five percent of the landmass of Canada. Within this region, there are 53 Inuit communities. The Inuits are a true example of living off the land, with their harvesting of caribou, seal, and narwhal. Nunangat means land, water, and ice. The Inuits, as of 2011, made up 4.2 percent of the Canadian population.

Some may think that Inuits are a native tribe that just keep to themselves, and are not really involved in the economy of Canada. Those thinking this way couldn’t be more wrong. One of their significant contributions is through their art. In 2015, this added $87.2 million to the GDP figure. Inuit art has become commercialized, which has opened the doors for their contributions to the Canadian economy.


The Metis group in Canada are comprised of those who are able to trace their ancestry back to the First Nations tribes, and the French European settlers. Originally their native status was rejected by the Canadian government, but that has changed, and they are now recognized as one of the three aboriginal tribes in Canada. Understanding the Metis category can be confusing. Just the way Metis is spelled is a controversial question, and the spelling varies quite a bit depending on who you ask. As of 2011, the Metis made up of about 1.4 percent of the Canadian population. The Metis live in many different parts of our country, but traditionally the main area where they have lived in the past and still live is the Prairies of Canada. There are also Meti poeple living in the United States.

First Nations

This is the group of indigenous people in Canada, that used to be referred to as Indians. The proper name is First Nations, which is made up of different tribes. The tribes are identified by the Nation they belong to, for example, Cree, Mohawk or Oneida just to name a few of many.

If one is referring to the aboriginal people of Canada, then it not only includes all the tribes under the First Nations, but the Inuits and the Metis as well. As of 2011, there were about 851560 citizens identified as First Nation individuals, which at that time made up about 2.6 percent of the Canadian population. Ontario is a popular province for many of the different First Nations tribes.