A term that came into common usage in the 1980’s, to replace the term “Indian,” which some people find offensive – it has no legal definition. “First Nation peoples” or “First Nations” refers to the Indian peoples of Canada, both status and non-status, who are descendants of the original inhabitants of Canada who lived here for millennia before explorers arrived from Europe, and can also refer to a community of people as a replacement term for “band” (see “Band”).
First Nation peoples are one of the distinct cultural groups of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. There are 52 First Nations cultures in Canada, and more than 50 languages. The term “First Nation” is not interchangeable with “Aboriginal,” because it does not include Métis or Inuit.