Talk:First Nations of Canada

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this is a stub article - vastly more needs to be said about this, and I hope when it is that people will avoid Eurocentric terms - like "Americas"

I don't see how "Nearctic" (new north) and "Neotropic" (new tropic) are significantly less Eurocentric than "Americas" -- the idea of "old" (known to Europeans) and "new" (to Europeans, that is) is inherant in their derivation -- so what exactly do you have in mind to replace these three terms? Brion VIBBER
hmm, yes you're right, "Eurocentric" is the wrong term... Nearctic and Neotropic are like Latin names in taxonomy, though, they describe ecologies like plants and animals, with a standard name worldwide. So maybe the point is simply not to force "First Nations" to speak of themselves as being "of the Americas", given the often-nasty colonial history? Kind of like not asking Palestinians to refer to their home as "Greater Israel", etc...
since the whole point of being a First nation is that you were or are there First, it refers to a time when everyone was pretty tightly tied to the land for their living - thus the ecologists' terms seem to me more neutral by far than "the Americas". But, maybe I am overestimating the concern about this.
I tell you what: ask some members of these nations -- normal, ordinary folks, like the proverbial m:three billionth user, not ecologists -- whether "the Americas" is offensive or not, and what term they would normally use when speaking English to refer to the collected major landmasses of the western hemisphere. There's no point in speculating here, surely? Brion VIBBER

Does anyone besides Canadians use this term? --rmhermen

Never heard it used in Oz, except to describe the Canadian situation. --Robert Merkel
Oz it's "Aborigines", U.S. it's usually "Native Americans" but in Canada the term First Nations is used very broadly to apply to all w:indigenous peoples and when in Canada they usually just use that term perhaps out of solidarity. US Natives in the US hear it and don't question its application to themselves, maybe perceiving that they'd be better off under the Canadian treaties and gain some advantage by using that term? There was some serious celebration when Nunuvat became quasi-independent, as I understand from many native friends... they seemed to view it as a first step back to controlling their land base... maybe widespread use of "First Nations" as a phrase was a consequence of that success? Maybe temporary? I don't know. Heck that may all be an article in itself.
According to American Heritage Dictonary, http://www.bartleby.com/61/39/F0143950.html First Nation is a Canadian only term that only refers to certain bands of Canadian Indians. It specifically excludes Inuit and Metis. We need to not this and whether common usage differs. --rmhermen

It's not up to white men from Oz, US, or CA to decide what is "polemic", Robert. It is resistance to colonization processes which defines these peoples, and why they stick together.

From their point of view, we are part of that process.

It makes more sense to err on the side of overly-neutral terms where possible, and if some indigenous person thinks they are overdone, then fine, let *THEM* cut it back to "Americas" and remove reference to "colonization".

This word "polemic" seems to have become standard among the "particle physics view of the world is the only view of the world" crowd. Who have no problem with polemic phrases like w:Theory of Everything, w:Standard Model, etc. It's time this little clique was busted, by a more democratic concept of such terms - 24


Two quick points:

  1. The use of the "ecological" names to describe the continents is very much a minority usage, and that minority usage is irrelevant to the main thrust of the article.
  2. AFAICT, the reaction of indigenous peoples (at least in Australia) towards the anti-globalization movements is quite complex. Some parts of the communities do seem to identify with them, some want economic development and if that comes through multinational mining companies that's just fine, and the majority are having quite enough trouble dealing with the one imported culture that they've been struggling with since European settlement to care about or even notice others. Hence, the broad claim in the earlier version of the article was IMHO very inaccurate.

By all means, let the article discuss that, but surely it should be in the context of discussing the history of the idea of First Nations and their many and varied activities, rather than concentrate on one aspect of it.

Thanks for signing your comment, by the way. --Robert Merkel.

What do you call a person who is a member of the First Nations? A First Nationser? What is the neutral term to refer to a single individual? RickK 02:58, 26 Aug 2003 (UTC)

You would use whatever nation they are. Alternately you could say "native," although that probably wouldn't be as politically correct... Adam Bishop 03:01, 26 Aug 2003 (UTC)



Let's get rid of this article. But first I want to confirm: Canadians are the only ones that really use the term First Nations right? Robert Merkel said it wasn't used in Australia, and rmhermen seems to say that Americans still use the term "Native American". From my experience I think this is all correct.

Reasons that this article should be gone:

  • Some Canadian related articles link to this, but instead they should link to First Nations of Canada, it is and WILL BE the most comprehensive article about the First Nations people of Canada, history, list of peoples, culture, present, past, everything. IF "First Nations" is over 90% a Cdn. term, then it should be a redirect to that First Nations of Canada page.
  • The US has their own article, I think it's called Native American. If the US collectivey decides that term is bad or whatever, then they can change it to First Nations of U.S.A. or whatever.
  • I'm sure the Aussies have their own article.
  • Other first nations of the "Americas" should have their own articles. Significant ones can have their own, smaller ones can be bunched together.
  • This article is useless, it is basically a stub, which I suspect came about because someone clicked on First Nations and decided to write a general article describing all "First peoples". It would be impossible to write an article about all "First peoples".

My opinion: this should be merged with other things and then re-directed to First Nations of Canada.

Unless there is massive objection I'll start on this the next time I come around to this article. dave 03:41, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)

If Canadians are the only ones who use the term "First Nations", wouldn't "First Nations of Canada" be redundant? -Montréalais