chapter  5
Canadian First Nations’ experiences with international development
ByPeter Croal, Wes Darou
Pages 26

The indigenous peoples of Canada refer to themselves under the term First Nations or Native People. This group includes the Inuit (i.e. Eskimo), Dene, Métis, and forty-nine distinct Amerindian cultures such as the Dakota, Cree and Haida (INAC 2000). The term aboriginal is not acceptable in parts of Europe; indigenous is not acceptable in China or South Africa; and the term Indian, while acceptable in the USA, is not in Canada.We follow the nomenclature in use in Canada because we believe that it is an inherent right of peoples to choose their own name. Although the cultures are diverse, the late Clare Brant*1 (1990), a Mohawk psychiatrist, points out that most share certain values. These include non-interference, sharing, respect for elders, harmony with the land, and social responsibility. There is, however, much diversity between First Nations cultures, such that the difference in values between some is larger than the difference between First Nations and Caucasians (Trimble et al.* 1996).