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Accueil > Relations with Aboriginal peoples > Profile of the Nations > Where do the Aboriginal peoples live?

Where do the Aboriginal peoples live?

The Amerindians (Registered Indians) of Québec live on Indian reserves, in settlements or on Category I lands. However, while the Amerindians are registered as members of bands, not all of them live in these types of settings. In Québec, close to 65,000 of the 87,000 Registered Indians live there; the others reside in urban centres outside these settings. As for the more than 10,000 Inuit, they mainly live in the northern villages located along Ungava Bay, Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay.

Indian reserves are lands under federal jurisdiction reserved for the exclusive use and benefit of the Indians; a band council may pass resolutions to control the use of the reserve. Settlements are parcels of land having no specific status on which Indian bands have settled. A band council cannot pass resolutions to regulate their use, because these settlements have never been officially set aside for use by the Indians. The Federal Government administers the lands of Indian reserves and offers services to the communities that reside on the reserve and that live in the settlements. In the case of the Inuit, the system is of the municipal type and falls entirely under Québec’s jurisdiction.

The northern agreements grant the Crees, the Inuit and the Naskapis special rights on vast territories classified by category to facilitate their administration and to determine users’ rights. Category I lands are reserved for the exclusive use of these nations; Category II and III lands are public, but these nations have certain rights on these lands.

In Québec, the lands reserved for the Amerindians and the Inuit totaled 14,786.5 km2 in 1998. Category I lands subject to the northern agreements represent 95% of this surface area. Reserves and settlements occupy only 5% of the entire territory, even though they account for 70% of the Amerindian population.

Finally, more than 15,000 non-status Indians and Métis residing in Québec are spread out over various communities, both urban and rural. They have no political organization, such as a band council or a municipal council, to take care of the services usually associated with the administration of a community.

Surface area of the lands reserved for the Aboriginal peoples

Nations
Surface area (km2)*
Not covered by the Agreements

Abenakis
Algonquins
Attikameks
Huron-Wendats
Innu (Montagnais)
Malecites
Micmacs
Mohawks

Subtotal



6.8
208.0
49.8
1.1
295.1
1.7
41.4
142.5

746.4

Covered by the Agreements

Crees
Inuit
Naskapis

Subtotal

TOTAL



5 551.7
8 162.1
326.3

14 040.1

14 786.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Only one decimal is used in this table.

Source:
Ministère des Ressources naturelles du Québec. Localisation des nations autochtones au Québec – Historique foncier, Québec, 1998.

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Last update: May 19, 2009
Online as of: November 11, 2004