Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Canadian Scholars’ Press
269 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
September 2017
Print ISBN: 9781773380124
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The First Nations of Ontario depicts the historical transitions and the contemporary economic and social conditions of the Indigenous population in Ontario. The book begins with an archaeological overview of the culture and traditions of Indigenous communities, and then examines the first stages of colonialism, outlines the treaty-making process in Ontario, and analyzes the challenges First Nations communities continue to face in present society. These challenges include: neo-colonial trends; limited access to resource development; the economic difficulties of living on reserves; out-migration; and the continued enforcement of the Indian Act. Topics are considered within the larger contemporary context of Indigenous issues in Canada and the complexities of restorative justice. This rich and accessible text is suitable for first and second year Anthropology and Indigenous Studies courses.


  • 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

Student Resources

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