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Booklet: Indigenous Peoples and Communities in Alberta

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This booklet provides a quick look at the Indigenous cultures and communities in Alberta.

Long before Alberta became a province, Indigenous Peoples inhabited this land, speaking distinct languages, creating complex governments, social and economic systems, and moving with the ebb and flow of the natural world. Indigenous history is etched into the Alberta landscape going back more than 11,000 years and 500 generations—from ancient rock carvings at Writing-on-Stone in the southern part of the province, to a 10,000-year-old spear point unearthed in the Athabasca lowlands in the north.

By the most recent projections, Alberta is home to an estimated 324,000 Indigenous Peoples (the word ‘Indigenous’ encompasses First Nations, Métis and Inuit people).1 Their presence predates both Alberta and Canada, yet not all Canadians are familiar with the rich histories and cultures of Indigenous Peoples, or with their present-day contributions and aspirations.

The unique world view of Indigenous cultures—or any cultures, for that matter—can be traced back to their creation stories, symbolic narratives of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it.

Creation stories explain a people’s sense of who they are in the context of the world, and in so doing, they reveal real priorities, as well as values. Creation stories develop in oral traditions so they have multiple versions. The one shared here is adapted from a version told by the late Francis Tootoosis, originally from Poundmaker First Nation in Saskatchewan. He lived on the Samson Cree Nation at the time of the telling of this story.


  • By

    Alberta Health Services

  • Published

    Jun 14, 2023

  • Subject Area
    • Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Relations
    • Social Connectedness / Social Isolation
  • Audience
    • Academics
    • Funders
    • Government (Politicians, Policy Makers) and Health Authorities
    • Service Providers (Non-profits, Community Organizations, Local government)
    • Caregivers, Seniors & Volunteers
    • Government
    • Health Authorities
  • Category
    • First Nations/Aboriginal Communities
    • Toolkits
    • Provincial Resources
    • Training & Capacity Building


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