This issue of Kayak is all about the places we live — our homes and communities.
But it’s important to remember that every farm, village and city in Canada is on land that once belonged to Indigenous people. Those are the First Nations, Inuit and Métis who lived here long before our country was a country.
Some land was turned over after the government agreed to a treaty that promised things to Indigenous people, often in exchange for giving up rights to the land. (Many of these promises were later broken.)
For instance, Winnipeg is part of Treaty 1, while much of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are covered by what are known as the Peace and Friendship treaties. Then there are the areas, like much of British Columbia, that were simply taken, with no treaties at all.
There are land claims underway in many parts of Canada. That’s where an Indigenous group and the Canadian government try to come to an agreement about what is a fair deal for land the Indigenous people never gave up, but which has been settled by others.
These talks can take decades, like the one that ended up with the creation of Nunavut as a separate territory made up mainly of Inuit.