Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

pp 1107-1114

Canada: Cultural Heritage Management and First Nations

  • David PokotyloAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of British Columbia Email author 
  • , Andrew R. MasonAffiliated withGolder Associates Ltd.


Canada is a large (9,984,670 sq. km) country with a population of approximately 34.5 million that includes 633 recognized First Nations; each of these aboriginal groups is distinctive with their specific cultural practices, language, and priorities. (Names are a problem and, in the case of Canadian Aboriginal people, have changed with the times. Although the Indian Act remains in force in Canada, the term “Indian” is widely disfavored by those whom the term is used to describe. “Native” (but not “Native Canadian”) and “Aboriginal” are occasionally used in self-reference, but “First Nations” and “First Peoples” are more commonly accepted at present. As there is no universally accepted term or definition, these four terms are used interchangeably in this entry.) The present relationship between cultural heritage management (of which archaeology constitutes a major component, and is the main focus here) and First Nations in Canada is multifaceted. It is useful to r ...

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