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Indigenous Land

Indigenous Peoples have had a long history and relationship with the land. Our archives contain many different sources of information that can be useful for research into Indigenous connection, use and occupation of lands across Canada and into the U.S. Much of our information pertains to Alberta and the Treaty 7 territory, however you can still find information on areas outside of this, specifically in British Columbia and the Northwest region of Canada. See our Language page for the link to an interactive map of Indigenous traditional lands, languages, and treaty territories. 


We have maps and blueprints of Îethka (Stoney Nakoda), Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy), Nehiyawak (Cree), Inuit and Métis territories, along with the land mapping of the Papaschase Cree Nation outside of Edmonton. Publications that discuss traditional hunting territories across the West and into the Northwest Territories from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous sources exist, many of which can be found in our library. We hold Canadian Geographic's four book series of Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada - these books contain maps Indigenous lands as well as information about First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nations and cultures. 


Stoney Place Names by the Chiniki Research Team and Stoney Elders is a great resource that shows traditional Îethka hunting areas along with their meanings and names in the language. Sound recordings from Îethka community members also describe traditional hunting areas and areas of occupation. 


There are several documents pertaining to Siksika camps as well as the more recent land claim of Castle Mountain in the archives. These documents include several newspaper articles listed under Blackfoot-Siksika Land Claims and even a video from 1994. 

Other newspaper articles pertaining to land claims and environmental issues on nations such as Îethka, Kainai (Blood) and Nehiyawak (Cree) can be found in our newsfiles listed under titles such as "Land Claims" or "Environment." 


O. A. Christensen fonds is a useful place to look if you're interested in archaeology; this fonds contains information from the 1969 Archeological Survey of Banff National Park and may have valuable insights to Indigenous use and occupation of the lands around Banff. Other archaeological records pertaining to Indigenous Peoples’ land use and settlement in Alberta, British Columbia and other areas across Canada can be found within books in our library listed under 07.2 or 08.3. Other great sections to look in our library would be under 04 and 04.2 which may have more insights into Indigenous hunting practices, as well as 02.5 which has books that discuss the fur trade and early Canada.  

There are many other sources of information pertaining to Indigenous Peoples and land that you can look through on our online database. Some key words that may be useful to search for on this topic are land, environment, hunting, camp, settlement and archaeology, see Research Tips for more ideas. 


See How To & FAQ for more help on how to use the online database and to see how to narrow your search to Indigenous content. 

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