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The Ontario First Nations Map has been in print since 1991. It serves the information needs of the public by providing a useful geographical base and thematic reference for the policies, programs, services and initiatives of interest to Aboriginal people provided by the Government of Canada and Province of Ontario.
If you would like to order a free copy of the map, or have a suggestion for a future version of the map, please contact:
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Executive Services and Communications 25 St-Clair Avenue East, 8th Floor Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M2 Telephone: 416-973-2158
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about the Ontario First Nations Map.
How can I get permission to reproduce the Ontario First Nations map?
For commercial reproduction, please contact:
Public Works and Government Services Canada Publishing and Depository Services 350 Albert Street, 4th Floor Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0S5 firstname.lastname@example.org
As this map is created in partnership with the Province of Ontario, any commercial reproduction requires the Province of Ontario's as well as the Government of Canada's licensing permission. For further information, please contact:
For non-commercial reproduction: We ask users to exercise due diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced. The reproduction must not be represented as an 'official' version of the materials reproduced, nor as having been made, in affiliation with or with our endorsement. Crown copyright must also be acknowledged.
What do the symbols on the map represent?
The border of the poster shows symbols that are particularly meaningful to First Nations in Ontario.
At the top centre the Two Row Wampum represents treaties of peace and friendship made when the Haudensaunee, and Iroquois Confederacy, first came into contact with European nations. The two rows symbolize two paths or two vessels travelling down the same rivers together. One, a birch bark canoe, is for First Nations, their laws, customs and ways. The other, a ship, is for Europeans with their laws, customs and ways.
The three beads separating the rows symbolize peace, friendship and respect. The wampum represents travelling the river together, side by side, but in different vessels. The principle of the Two Row Wampum became the basis for treaties and agreements between First Nations and European nations.
At the bottom centre of the border, the Hiawatha Wampum symbolizes formation of the Iroquois League. Four of the five founding nations are represented as rectangles. Onondaga, the central nation, is symbolized by the Tree of Peace. All are linked by paths that extend outwards towards other nations.
The border also includes representations of the eagle, wolf, bear, heron, turtle, eel, deer, snipe and hawk which are prominent in the culture of First Nations. The border also contains representations of beadwork, porcupine beadwork, tamarack goose, moose, muskrat, porcupine, raven, catfish, mink, turkey, rabbit, loon, frog, deer, snake, fox, otter, martin and raccoon, which are prominent in Cree and Ojibway culture.
Behind the index of the poster is the Tree of Peace, which is central to the culture of many First Nations in Ontario.
What are the information sources for the listing of First Nations?
The index on the right of the large map contains a listing of First Nations recognized under the Indian Act, by band number along with their cultural affiliation. The names of communities are checked against several sources (i.e., the First Nations Profiles, federal schedules, media releases, several interactive First Nations Maps, representative First Nation political organization websites and community websites). Whenever possible, the map gives preference to the traditional name preferred on a community's website which may sometimes differ from the official name. This keeps with in the intent of the map to create awareness of First Nations in Ontario. As names sometimes change, and errors can occur, it is always best to contact the community directly to verify its information.
What are the sources for the main map?
The main map is a display map, which includes First Nation communities recognized under the Indian Act along with some municipalities, lakes and rivers for the reader to use as reference points. The map is composed of several thematic and base layers, and is not designed to be a road map or topographical map. The intent of the map is to create awareness of First Nations in Ontario. It is a snapshot of the best available information at the time it was published. This information can quickly become out of date.
This print version of the map coincides with the recent release of several interactive First Nations maps by other organizations. We have attempted to visually edit the map to match these new sources. The Canada Lands - Ontario First Nations Lands and National Parks map is also used as a reference for reserves that and is then checked against the reserves and addresses listed on First Nations Profiles.
Locations are also visually checked against the Official Road Map of Ontario, and several other online mapping tools and viewers. Some First Nations have more than one reserve, in which case, we always try to place the locator on either the largest or most populated community. Also, some communities are very close together, in which case we try our best to keep the names as close as possible to the location. Further still, some communities don't have a reserve land base but are identified through agreements, and the majority of members may live off-reserve. In this case, we usually use the community's mailing address for its location.
What are the sources for the Tribal Council and Representative First Nations Political Organizations?
These listings are checked against the organization's website, the First Nation Profiles, posted federal schedules and other sources.
What are the sources for the Reserve Settlement/Village listing?
The list of reserves is manually compiled from the First Nation Profiles.
What are the sources for the Treaties map?
The Historical Treaties of Canada map, which portrays treaties from 1725 to 1923, is the main information source for this display map. We also cross check information against several websites and treaty research reports. Indian treaties have been generally classified into two groups: Pre-Confederation and Post-Confederation.
Pre-Confederation treaties were made with the Crown through representatives of the British Government. Post-Confederation treaties were made with the Government of Canada. Peace and Friendship Treaties did not involve the transfer of land title, and are therefore not individually represented on the map. All the boundary lines represent the approximate extent of treaty boundaries. Adhesion boundaries are mapped to show the extension of a treaty boundary as a result of later signatories who adhered to the terms of the original treaty. Also shown are the boundaries for the major land cessions or surrenders in the Upper Canada Treaties area.