Historical Perspectives and Current Contexts

An understanding of the origins, histories, and historical and contemporary contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit involves the following terms, concepts and knowledge.

Traditional Territories

  • First Nations within Alberta and their traditional territories/histories
  • Métis within Alberta and traditional territories/histories
  • Inuit within Canada and traditional territories/histories

Historical and Contemporary Contributions

  • Traditional governance (and governance structures)
  • Consensus model of decision making
  • Military contributions
  • Technologies
  • Political systems
  • Contributions to European settlers’ survival

The First Nations, Métis and Inuit Professional Learning website provides educators with supports and tools to design and facilitate professional learning. It offers curricular resources that build capacity, engage learners and build paths toward reconciliation through education.

The Learning to Know pillar webpage provides a wide range of professional tools and supports to develop foundational knowledge and understandings of historical events and current contexts. This webpage includes features to help you self-assess your capacity and a photo resource gallery with numerous links to sources, websites and resources.

Conversation Guides

Supporting Resources

First Nations in Canada

First Nations in Canada is an educational resource designed for use by young Canadians; high school educators and students; Aboriginal communities; and anyone interested in First Nations history. Its aim is to help readers understand the significant developments affecting First Nations communities from the pre-Contact era (before the arrival of Europeans) up to the present day.

Kairos Blanket Exercise

This one-hour participatory workshop helps participants understand how colonization of the land we now know as Canada has impacted the people who lived here long before settlers arrived, and explore the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, how this relationship has been damaged over the years, and how they can work toward reconciliation.

People and History: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

The information and numerous links on this webpage share aspects of the long and rich history of Aboriginal peoples, addressing treaties and residential schools. Success stories also show how Aboriginal communities across Canada are working towards a bright and successful future.

Supporting First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learners – In Conversation with Mayor Don Iveson

Explore the importance of supporting First Nation, Métis and Inuit learners by viewing this series of short videos with accompanying learning guides. Mayor Iveson shares information about the history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people and why this history and the stories of these peoples are a source for deep learning and celebration.