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The indigenous peoples of Canada are collectively known as Aboriginal peoples. Canada recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples: Indians, Inuit and Métis. Aboriginal peoples in Canada are challenged by the slow implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, child welfare and violence against indigenous women and girls.
In 2010, the Canadian government announced its support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. This decision was a reversal of Canada's previous opposition to the Declaration, which he pursued together with Australia, the United States and New Zealand. All have reviewed their attitude towards the Declaration.
The Government of Canada has highlighted four important principles that govern its relations with indigenous peoples. These are the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Unfortunately, these principles seem to come with little more than political rhetoric. In addition, Canada has not ratified ILO Convention 169.
The Constitutional Act of Canada of 1982 recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and Existing Treaties of Aboriginal Peoples. In addition, the Supreme Court of Canada has called for the reconciliation of "pre-existing aboriginal sovereignty with the supposed sovereignty of the Crown."
Aboriginal peoples and First Nations
According to the 2011 census, 1,400,685 people in Canada had an aboriginal identity, accounting for 4.3% of the total Canadian population. 851,560 people identified as First Nations people, representing 60.8% of the total Aboriginal population and 2.6% of the total Canadian population.
The First Nations, referred to as Indians in the Constitution and generally registered under the Indigenous Act of Canada, are a diverse group, representing more than 600 First Nations and more than 60 languages. About 55% live in the reserve and 45% reside in urban, rural, special access and remote areas outside the reserve. The métis constitute a distinct aboriginal nation, with 451,795 in 2011, many of whom live in urban centers, mainly in western Canada.