Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
269 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
August 2017
Print ISBN: 9781773380124


As John Steckley writes in his Foreword, this unique text provides “something that has been missing from the literature for too long”—the first comprehensive overview of the histories, cultures, and socio-economic conditions of the First Nations of Ontario, the province/territory with the highest Indigenous population in Canada. Situated within the larger context of Canadian Indigenous issues, anthropologist Edward J. Hedican provides an accessible introduction to the complex and diverse histories of the First Nations of Ontario from early prehistoric times to contemporary day.

Each chapter incorporates the voices and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples on topics such as treaties, the archaeology of early Ontario, neo-colonial trends, restorative justice, and the present challenges facing Indigenous communities. With an annotated list of online resources, a glossary of important terms, and an extensive appendix providing information on every First Nation in Ontario, this text is an invaluable resource both for students in Indigenous studies and anthropology as well as for anyone interested in the rich culture and heritage of the First Nations of Ontario.


  • foreword by John Steckley
  • the preface profiles 17 notable First Nations individuals
  • chapters include discussion questions and lists of suggested readings and websites

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Foreword, by John Steckley

Chapter 1: Introducing First Nations and Their Characteristics

Chapter 2: First Nations in Ontario’s Ancient Past

Chapter 3: Algonquian Hunters of the Boreal Forest

Chapter 4: The Wendat and Haudenosaunee of the Eastern Woodlands

Chapter 5: Ontario Treaties and Land Claims

Chapter 6: Social Movements and Current Events

Afterword: Present and Future Challenges: First Nations in Transition
Appendix A: The First Nations of Ontario
Appendix B: Internet Resources

Edward J. Hedican

Edward J. Hedican is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Guelph. He is widely considered one of today's foremost Canadian anthropologists.


“This book is engaging, well written, and authored by an active expert in the fields of anthropology and Indigenous Peoples of Ontario. It will undoubtedly find a home on the bookshelves of interested members of the public, undergraduate students, scholars, and anyone who wants a handy reference guide for the First Nations of Ontario.”
—  Dr. Robert Muckle, Anthropology Department, Capilano University, and author of The First Nations of British Columbia and Indigenous Peoples of North America

“This text provides an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the complex and diverse issues of First Nations cultures, histories, and contemporary circumstances in Ontario, with the local emphasis framed in a larger context of Canada and beyond. It encourages readers to relate the material to their own experience and expand their understanding of the key role that First Nations people have played and continue to play in the Canadian imaginary.”
—  Dr. Regna Darnell, Department of Anthropology, University of Western Ontario

“This book offers insight into the civilizations of Indigenous Peoples located in the current boundary of Ontario from an archeological perspective prior to contact. It outlines the design of institutional racism through the handling of land claims under existing policies and practices of the provincial and federal government. It is a text that challenges the reader to appreciate the stories of settlement from Indigenous eyes and experience.”
—  Dr. Catherine Longboat, Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education, Brock University

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