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Difference Between Aboriginal and First Nation

Aboriginal vs First Nation

Aboriginal and first nation refers to the same sect of people. It is hard to make out a difference between Aboriginal and first nation as they are the same. Though indigenous people are seen in many parts of the world, these two terms — Aboriginal and first nation ‘“ refers to indigenous people of Canada.

Of the two terms, Aboriginal is more commonly used than First Nations to describe all Indigenous peoples of Canada.

Aboriginal people in Canada include First Nations, Metis and Inuit. On the other hand, First Nations refer to indigenous people in Canada other than Metis and Inuit. So it can be seen that Aboriginal is used in the larger sense and refers to all indigenous people whereas First Nations is not like that. Most of the time, First Nations only refers to Indian people.

First Nations was a term that came into common usage in the 1980s. The term was coined to replace the term “Indian band” as some people found this term offensive. First Nations was first used at the joint council meeting of the National Indian Brotherhood and the Assembly of First Indians.

All the Aboriginal people have certain rights and even run governments. The aboriginal rights are those that the aboriginal people have got as a result of their ancestors’ longstanding use. The rights like hunting and fishing are some of the rights that they enjoy. But these rights vary from one group to another depending on the culture, tradition and practices. This is also the same case with First Nations.

Summary

1. It is hard to make out a difference between Aboriginal and first nation as they are the same.

2. Aboriginal is more commonly used than first nation to describe all Indigenous peoples of Canada.

3. Aboriginal peoples in Canada include First Nations, Metis and Inuit. On the other hand, First Nations refer to indigenous people in Canada other than Metis and Inuit.

4. Aboriginal is used in the larger sense and refers to all indigenous people whereas First Nations is not like that. Most of the time, First Nations only refers to Indian people.

5. First Nations was a term that came into common usage in the 1980s. The term was coined to replace the term “Indian band” as some people found this term as offensive.

6. All the Aborginal people have certain rights and even run governments. The aborginal rights are those that the aboriginal people have got as a result of their ancestors’ longstanding use.


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3 Comments

  1. Just for the record this article is actually incorrect – the terms First Nations and Aboriginal are not synonyms as “Aboriginal” includes First Nations peoples as well as Inuit and Metis populations (groups which are not considered to be “First Nations”

  2. This article is poorly written. The article incorrectly states that Aboriginal and First Nations are the same but then contradicts this to (correctly) state how they are different. Pure and simple, the term aboriginal encompasses all indigenous peoples in Canada. The term First Nations is synonymous with those peoples otherwise referred to as Indians (covered under the Indian Act). First Nations do not include Inuit or Metis.

  3. My friends from Laguna and Acoma New Mexico think these new PC names are another attempt by the White man to portray the Native as a “noble savage”.
    The Laguna and Acoma believe they are the 1st original people on Earth, the oldest of all peoples. G-grandparents of children who have circled the Earth and returned. The bad treatment of grandparent is understood as a failure of the offspring to remember. Grandparent is not angry, they are happy for our success. They believe the circle of life is the cause of their decline, that their death as a people is natural because they are the oldest.
    For them, the wheel just keeps on turning. They are not Native Americans, aboriginal or indiginous people. They are the Acoma and the Laguna.

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