Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues


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1. What is Cultural Heritage?

Young Inuit are expected to learn by example, through close association with adults. Many of the values and beliefs of the society are demonstrated implicitly in behaviour. For instance, the constant sharing of food and other commodities exemplifies the value of generosity and co-operation, and discourages stinginess, greediness and selfishness. Stories that elders like to tell, especially to children, reinforce these important lessons.

Native Americans in the United States - Wikipedia

Inuit in Canada traditionally speak Inuktitut , of which there are many different dialects. See Indigenous Languages in Canada. However, because of improved travel opportunities and the development of Inuit-language radio and TV programming, language differences are diminishing. Traditionally, there was no written language, but after contact with missionaries, the Inuit widely adopted writing systems.

In the census, 34, people reported Inuktitut as their mother tongue, with One exception is Iqaluit , which reported only Percentages were significantly lower in Labrador; for example, Nain reported 36 per cent and Rigolet had only 5 per cent. Evidence exists of Norse settlement in the Arctic in the 14th century. See Norse Voyages. However, the first sustained contact with outsiders occurred between Moravian missionaries and Labrador Inuit in the late 18th century.

See Moravian Missions in Labrador. At a few other locations in the Arctic, the Inuit and Europeans established fleeting trade contacts, but most contact occurred nearly a century later. During the latter half of the 19th century, explorers and commercial whalers introduced various trade items to the Inuit, though it was only following the end of commercial whaling, effectively after , that trading posts became more or less permanently established in the arctic regions.

During the Second World War , Inuit were given disk numbers in lieu of names, for ease of government administration. See Project Surname. After the war, there was an intensification of government activity, including the establishment of schools, nursing stations, airports and communication installations, and housing programs in the newly established settlements and hamlets. These impositions caused much cultural tension, as many Inuit were forcibly relocated to areas with which they were unfamiliar.

In the early s, a national organization, the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada now known as Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami , was established to protect Inuit cultural and individual rights.


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The organization created several agencies in response to expressed needs. An Inuit Language Commission, for example, was formed to seek the best means of ensuring the increased use of Inuktitut for governmental, educational and communications purposes, and a Land Claims Office was established to research and negotiate Inuit land claims. Many of these issues, such as protection of the arctic environment, are international in scope.

Therefore, an international Inuit organization, the Inuit Circumpolar Council, was formed with committees seeking to strengthen pan-Inuit communication, cultural and artistic activities, and international co-operation in environmental protection. This organization has affiliation with numerous international bodies, including the United Nations, thereby ensuring that Inuit concerns become widely understood throughout the world.

Significantly altered by the long-lasting effects of colonization, many northern communities face significant socio-economic challenges, such as overcrowding, food scarcity, chronic health issues and high rates of youth suicide. A survey found that in Inuit Nunangat more than 15, Inuit were living in overcrowded conditions, and were the most likely to live in households with more than one family. Living conditions and lack of access to health care partially contribute to an increase in chronic health conditions, including obesity, diabetes and respiratory infections.

The suicide rate among Inuit youth is markedly higher than for the rest of Canada, making suicide prevention a key priority for continued cultural growth. See Suicide among Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Despite these challenges, Inuit peoples in Canada have celebrated many achievements in numerous fields, most notably self-government and the creation of Nunavut.

The Inuit have also been active in discussions surrounding environmental policy, business and education in the North and the revitalization of Inuit culture and language. Jessica M. Heather E. From Igloolik Isuma Productions. Includes tales about mythological figures such as Ijiraat shape-shifters , interviews and related teaching resources. From the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. Search The Canadian Encyclopedia. Remember me. I forgot my password. Why sign up? Create Account.

Social Conditions of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Accessed 25 September In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published March 15, ; Last Edited August 19, The Canadian Encyclopedia , s.

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Article by Milton M. The term Arctic peoples in Canada generally refers to the Inuit population, descendants of the Thule people, who lived in the Arctic from to 1, years ago. The Inuit refer to their homeland as Inuit Nunangat. Community on the north coast of Baffin Island in Nunavut. Previous Next. Inuit family inside an igloo. The man on the left is using a bow-drill, used to drill holes and to start fires. Inuk man with bow and arrow. By performing the Ghost Dance, the Lakota believed they could take on a "Ghost Shirt" capable of repelling the white man's bullets.

Seeing the Ghost Dance as a threat and seeking to suppress it, U. Government Indian agents initiated actions that tragically culminated with the death of Sitting Bull and the later Wounded Knee massacre. The Ghost Dance and its ideals as taught by Wokova soon began to lose energy and it faded from the scene, although it was still practiced by some tribes into the twentieth century. The Longhouse Religion refers to the religious movement in indigenous peoples who formerly lived in longhouses.

Prior to the adoption of the single family dwelling, various groups of peoples lived in large, extended family homes also known as long houses. During inclement weather these homes served as meeting places, town halls, and theater. The religious movement known as Handsome Lake cult or Gai'wiio Good Message in Seneca was started by the Seneca Chief Handsome Lake Ganioda'yo who designated the long house structure as their place of worship.

Founded in , it is the oldest active prophet movement in North America. At the age of 64, after a lifetime of poverty and alcoholism, Ganioda'yo received his revelations while in a trance, after which he formed the movement. While it has similarities to the Quakers in practice, this new Seneca religion contained elements from both Christianity and traditional beliefs. Ganioda'yo's teachings spread through the populations of western New York, Pennsylvania, and Iroquois country, eventually being known as The Code of Handsome Lake. The movement is currently practiced by about five thousand people.

The most widespread religion at the present time is known as the Native American Church. It is a syncretistic church incorporating elements of native spiritual practice from a number of different tribes as well as symbolic elements from Christianity. Its main rite is the peyote ceremony.

Quanah Parker of the Comanche is credited as the founder of the Native American Church Movement, which started in the s and was formally incorporated in Parker adopted the peyote religion after reportedly seeing a vision of Jesus Christ when given peyote by a Ute medicine man to cure the infections of his wounds following a battle with Federal Troops. Parker taught that the Sacred Peyote Medicine was the Sacrament given to all Peoples by the Creator, and was to be used with water when taking communion in some Native American Church medicine ceremonies.

In the American Southwest, especially New Mexico , a syncretism between the Catholicism brought by Spanish missionaries and the native religion is common; the religious drums, chants , and dances of the Pueblo people are regularly part of Masses at Santa Fe's Saint Francis Cathedral. Most Native American tribes had traditional gender roles. One example is the Cherokee custom of wives owning the family property. Men hunted, traded, and made war, while women cared for the young and the elderly, fashioned clothing and instruments, and cured meat.

The cradle board was used by mothers to carry their baby while working or traveling. However, in some but not all tribes a kind of transgender was permitted, known as the Two-Spirit person. Apart from making home, women had many tasks that were essential for the survival of the tribes.

They made weapons and tools , took care of the roofs of their homes and often helped their men hunt buffalo. In some of these tribes girls were also encouraged to learn to ride and fight. Though fighting was mostly left to the boys and men, there had been cases of women fighting alongside them, especially when the existence of the tribe was threatened.

Native American music is almost entirely monophonic, but there are notable exceptions. Flutes and whistles made of wood, cane, or bone are also played, generally by individuals, but in former times also by large ensembles as noted by Spanish conquistador de Soto. The tuning of these flutes is not precise and depends on the length of the wood used and the hand span of the intended player, but the finger holes are most often around a whole step apart and, at least in Northern California, a flute was not used if it turned out to have an interval close to a half step.

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Native Americans: Overview

The most widely practiced public musical form among Native Americans in the United States is that of the pow-wow. At pow-wows, such as the annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, members of drum groups sit in a circle around a large drum. Drum groups play in unison while they sing in a native language and dancers in colorful regalia dance clockwise around the drum groups in the center. Familiar pow-wow songs include honor songs, intertribal songs, crow-hops, sneak-up songs, grass-dances, two-steps, welcome songs, going-home songs, and war songs.

Most indigenous communities in the United States also maintain traditional songs and ceremonies, some of which are shared and practiced exclusively within the community. Some, such as John Trudell have used music to comment on life in Native America, and others, such as R.

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Carlos Nakai integrate traditional sounds with modern sounds in instrumental recordings. A variety of small and medium-sized recording companies offer an abundance of music by Native American performers young and old, ranging from pow-wow drum music to hard-driving rock-and-roll and rap. Native American art comprises a major category in the world art collection. Native American contributions include pottery , paintings, jewelry , weaving, sculpture , basketry, and carving.

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The Pueblo peoples crafted impressive items associated with their religious ceremonies. Kachina dancers wore elaborately painted and decorated masks as they ritually impersonated various ancestral spirits. Sculpture was not highly developed, but carved stone and wood fetishes were made for religious use. Superior weaving, embroidered decorations, and rich dyes characterized the textile arts. Both turquoise and shell jewelry were created, as were high-quality pottery and formalized pictorial arts. Many American Indian tribes prided themselves on the spiritual carvings known as totem poles , which are monumental sculptures carved from great trees, typically Western Redcedar, by a number of Indigenous cultures along the Pacific Northwest coast of North America.

Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues
Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues
Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues
Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues
Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues
Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues

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