Indigenous Societies

Indigenous societies such as the Great Peace treaty that, in 1701, put an end to several years of conflicts between the Iroquois, allies of the English and the Indigenous Peoples allies of the French.

Indigenous organizations such as the Jardin des Premières nations at the Montreal Botanical Garden to promote the history of Indigenous societies along with the Roundhouse Café on Ste-Catherine corner of Atwater to promote the social diversity and the empowerment of Indigenous peoples.

The Innu Peoples of the Immensity

The Innu Peoples of the Algonquian family are one if not the most populous Aboriginal nation in the province of Quebec. Seven of the nine Innu communities are located in la Côte-Nord - North Coast, while the two others are located in Lac-Saint-Jean near Schefferville. 


Nine different Innu communities where Innu is spoken by the majority and where French is the second language of the Innu peoples.

Economic activities that include retail, outfitting establishments and a special interest for outdoor activities such as traditional hunting, fishing and trapping.

Nine Innu communities who differ from one another. Differences that are mostly related to their geographical location, the size of their community and their socio-economic development.

The Innu traded freely with Europeans who called them Montagnais because they lived in the low mountains of the North Shore. Innu means "human being" in their Innu-Aimun language and they never refer to themselves as Montagnais.

The Maliseet Peoples of the Beautiful River

During the 17th century, the nomadic Maliseet peoples were offered a land in Viger in the lower part of the St-Lawrence region. Interestingly, they preferred their freedom and dispersed throughout Quebec.

The Canadian Maliseets have not regrouped into communities yet except for the Viger Maliseet, the smallest Indigenous organization in Canada. It is only in 1987, after an extensive research, that some of the remaining Maliseets reunited, formed the Malécites de Viger Nation and elected their first Band Councillors and Band Council.


The Maliseets speak French and some speak English. 

At the beginning of the 21st century, the Maliseets started their involvement in commercial and food fisheries. After having obtained many different fishing permits, a committee was formed.

They now operate a commercial fishing enterprise and are busy diversifying their economy and developing regional partnerships.

Nowadays, and among its many responsibilities, the committee coordinates the commercial and food fisheries, looks after human resources, recruits and trains new personnel, implements policies on fishing practices, ...

The MicMac Peoples of the Sea

Also interesting are the MicMac peoples who, during the 16th century, were the first to encounter European newcomers.

Their fishing and navigation skills just so happened to be invaluable to the explorers and to the traders who had just arrived in our climate and our immensity. MicMac peoples who still practice their traditional salmon fishing.


Nowadays, the MicMacs maintain and promote their history through the development and the conservation of their ancestral sites. MicMacs who share close ties with other Indigenous societies such as the Maliseets. 

Interestingly, the Grand Council of the MicMac established long before the arrival of the Europeans is still their traditional government although its political power has since been restricted by the Canadian legislation.

A Grand Council who acts as a spiritual authority and whose members advocate, promote and preserve the traditions, the language and the culture of the Miꞌkmaq nation.

The Innus, the Maliseets and the MicMacs. Three out of 10 aboriginal communities, plus the Inuit who live in Inuit Nunangat, the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada and Alaska.

Montreal CLUB Kit
Indigenous Societies by Rachel Louise Barry


Discovering the many aspects that characterize Montreal and Montrealers