Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We Stand Together Fact #8

Hi Sheena,
Thanks for choosing to stand together! Here is Daily Fact #8:
The First Nations population in British Columbia dropped by 75% in the 100 years following the arrival of Europeans.

Share this fact to educate others, then join the discussion on Facebook or on Twitter (@FreeTheChildren and @MAboriginalEdu) using #westandtogether. At the end of the campaign, create your own Daily Fact and share it with Free The Children and MAEI here.
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Before the Europeans arrived in British Columbia, the Aboriginal Peoples of the region enjoyed an abundant lifestyle. Fishing sustained the First Nations communities on the west coast and provided almost everything the people needed. When the Europeans arrived, as primary hunters of the region, these First Nations Peoples formed several treaties with the visitors. These treaties were the basis of the very important fur-trade.

In 1870, a few centuries after the arrival of Europeans, the First Nations population in what is known today as British Columbia had declined by 75 per cent to around 23,000 people. The First Nations Peoples had been severely affected by the onset of small pox and other diseases brought by Europeans.

In addition, by 1870, some First Nations Peoples had signed several treaties that allowed Europeans to use the land. In exchange, they were given reserves, annual or other payments and select hunting and fishing rights. This change in lifestyle had an immense impact on the First Nations population.

According to the 2006 Census of Population, approximately 17.7 per cent of Canada’s First Nations Peoples live in British Columbia. British Columbia also has the largest population of First Nations Canadians living on reserve.

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