The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Seminars, Symposia, and Academic Conferences

Saturday, September 9, 2017
International Symposium: History and the Current Status of Indigenous People in Canada

  • Time: 14:00 - 16:40, September 9 (Saturday), 2017
  • Place: Conference Room 4
  • Organized by JACS and National Museum of Ethnology
  • Simultaneous translation (Japanese-English) provided

This symposium is open to the public. Everybody is welcome to the symposium. However, please note that you may not be able to get a seat if the room is full. If you have any questions, please contact Kishigami
E-mail: inuit[at]
※Please replace 'at' with @



In 2017 Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding. In 1988 Canada instituted an official policy of multiculturalism, recognizing that indigenous people are an important component of the nation. The 1982 constitution act of Canada specified Indians, Metis, and Inuit as Indigenous people of Canada. While Indians are now called “First Nations” in Canada, Indigenous people in general are referred to as “First Peoples”. According to the 2011 Census of Canada, the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit number about 850,000, 450,000 and 60,000 respectively. The total population of the Indigenous people is about 4 % of that of the total population of Canada, but is increasing.
The life of Indigenous peoples of Canada was drastically altered by the arrival of Europeans in the early 16th century, and later colonization and foundation of Canada as a state in 1867. In terms of their relationships with Europeans, their general history can be classified as independence period, contact period, co-existence period, colonized and assimilated period, and political re-autonomy period. The federal government of Canada has changed its indigenous policies since the mid-1970s and approves self-government and political autonomy within the state of Canada. This symposium addresses historical changes and the current situation of Indigenous people in Canada, with attention to their relationships with the Canadian state.
First Dr. Alan McMillan, as a keynote speaker, discusses Indigenous people of Canada in general as well as the history and current conditions of the British Columbia’s First Peoples. Then, Kazuko Ohta discusses historical relationships between the Acadians and First Nations in Eastern Canada, Mikako Yamaguchi about the Kaska society in the Yukon Territories, Nobuhiro Kishigami about Arctic and Urban Inuit in Canada, and Reiko Saito about contemporary cultural exchanges between the Ainu people of Japan and the Northwest Coast people of Canada. Based on the presentations, the speakers will discuss about history and current state of Indigenous people in Canada.



Nobuhiro Kishigami(National Museum of Ethnology and SOKENDAI)

14:00 - 14:40 Keynote Speech
“Indigenous Peoples in Canada: Diverse Histories and Modern Issues”
Alan D. McMillan (Simon Fraser University)
14:40 - 15:20 “Natives and Non-natives in the Maritimes, Canada : What the Burnt Church Incident Reveals”
Kazuko Ohta (Kyoritsu Women’s University)
“Historical Changes and the Present Condition of Kaska First Nations, with an Emphasis on Subsistence”
Mikako Yamaguchi (Gifu University)
15:20 - 15:40 Break
15:40 - 16:20 “Historical Changes and the Current Situation in Inuit Society in Canada”
Nobuhiro Kishigami(National Museum of Ethnology and SOKENDAI)
“Cultural Exchange between First Nations of Canada and Ainu People”
Reiko Saito(National Museum of Ethnology and SOKENDAI)
16:20 - 16:40 Questions/Replies and Discussion
16:40 End