Northwest Territories Cultural Groups
|Northwest Territories Wiki Topics|
|Northwest Territories Background|
|Local Research Resources|
First Nations[edit | edit source]
- First Nations Genealogy and Family History Library and Archives Canada
- Indigenous Genealogy
- Explore First Nations Things to Do
We speak “welcome” in no fewer than 11 official languages. Roughly half our 43,000 residents are First Nations, Inuvialuit, or Gwich’in. From North to South, we are the Inuvialuit, the Gwich’in, the Sahtu Dene and Metis, the Dehcho people, the Tłįchǫ and the Akaitcho. Our languages, traditions and cultures are strong, and told in stories, songs and drumming.
Inuvialuit[edit | edit source]
Inuit are known as Inuvialuit in the Northwest Territories. The traditional culture is based on the Beaufort sea, hunting and fishing the shore, the islands and the sea ice. Inuvialuit speak three dialects, Siglit, Uummarmiut, and Kangiryuarmiut, languages of the Mackenzie Delta and Arctic coast. Traditional drumming and singing are attractions for national audiences.
Métis[edit | edit source]
- Métis Scrip Records
- Métis Nation Government of Canada
- Métis Wikipedia
- Métis Genealogy Library and Archives Canada
- Voyageur Contracts Database Approximately 35,900 fur trade contracts signed in front of Montréal notaries between 1714 and 1830.
- Hudson's Bay Company Archives
- Metis Population from 2001 and Metis Population from 2006 Census Maps
Glenbow Archive, Library, and Museum[edit | edit source]
The Glenbow Archives and Library, has an excellent collection of resources for the study of Métis genealogy. Their sources cover predominantly Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and some parts of the Northwest Territories, Ontario, and British Columbia.
Most of our sources pertain to people who were living in the Prairie Provinces in 1900 or earlier.
One unique collection is the Gail Morin database. The collection consists of a database of 65,434 records of persons who were Metis ancestors. For each individual, dates and places of birth, baptism, marriage, death, and burial, and notes on sources are given if known. Using Ancestral Quest software, the data can be linked to show genealogical relationships in the form of pedigree charts and descendancy charts. The database is available only with the assistance of the Archives staff in the reading room of the Glenbow Archives. The database is fully searchable online.
Contact: Glenbow Archives
130 - 9 Avenue
SE Calgary, Alberta T2G 0P3
Reference Desk telephone: 403-268-4204
Métis traditions are strong in the Northwest Territories. Proud descendants of the Dene and northern guides, Métis of the Sahtu, Tłįchǫ, Dehcho and Akaitcho regions maintain connections to the land. Their fiddle music, traditional dancing, clothing and foods are distinctive. Dog teams, dog sledding and dog racing are still popular activities in many communities.
- The Métis are a multi ancestral indigenous group whose homeland is in Canada and parts of the United States between the Great Lakes region and the Rocky Mountains. The Métis trace their descent to both Indigenous North Americans and European settlers (primarily French). Not all people of mixed Indigenous and Settler descent are Métis, as the Métis are a distinct group of people with a distinct culture and language. Since the late 20th century, the Métis in Canada have been recognized as a distinct Indigenous people under the Constitution Act of 1982 and have a population of 587,545 as of 2016.
- During the height of the North American fur trade in New France from 1650 onward, many French and British fur traders married First Nations and Inuit women, mainly Cree, Ojibwa, or Saulteaux located in the Great Lakes area and later into the north west.
- The majority of these fur traders were French and Scottish; the French majority were Catholic.
- These marriages are commonly referred to as marriage à la façon du pays or marriage according to the "custom of the country."
- At first, the Hudson's Bay Company officially forbade these relationships. However, many Indigenous peoples actively encouraged them, because they drew fur traders into Indigenous kinship circles, creating social ties that supported the economic relationships developing between them and Europeans. When Indigenous women married European men, they introduced them to their people and their culture, taught them about the land and its resources, and worked alongside them. Indigenous women paddled and steered canoes, made moccasins out of moose skin, netted webbing for snowshoes, skinned animals and dried their meat.
- The children of these marriages were often introduced to Catholicism, but grew up in primarily First Nations societies. As adults, the men often worked as fur-trade company interpreters, as well as fur trappers in their turn.
- Many of the first generations of Métis lived within the First Nations societies of their wives and children, but also started to marry Métis women.
- By the early 19th century, marriage between European fur traders and First Nations or Inuit women started to decline as European fur traders began to marry Métis women instead, because Métis women were familiar with both white and Indigenous cultures, and could interpret.
References[edit | edit source]
- "First Nations in Northwest Territories", at Indigenous Canada, https://indigenoustourism.ca/regions/northwest-territories/#:~:text=Inuit%20are%20known%20as%20Inuvialuit,Mackenzie%20Delta%20and%20Arctic%20coast, accessed 31 December 2020.
- "Inuit in Northwest Territories", at Indigenous Canada, https://indigenoustourism.ca/regions/northwest-territories/#:~:text=Inuit%20are%20known%20as%20Inuvialuit,Mackenzie%20Delta%20and%20Arctic%20coast, accessed 31 December 2020.
- "Métis in Northwest Territories", at Indigenous Canada, https://indigenoustourism.ca/regions/northwest-territories/#:~:text=Inuit%20are%20known%20as%20Inuvialuit,Mackenzie%20Delta%20and%20Arctic%20coast, accessed 31 December 2020.
- "Métis Nation", Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9tis, accessed 25 October 2020.