Aboriginals have inhabited the region of "Canada" as far back as historical records exist. From the first contact, Europeans have had a negative impact on Aboriginals. Disease and loss of land contributed to the rapidly declining number of Native peoples prior to the development of Canada. As opposed to the French influence, the English colonial culture was especially destructive. Aboriginals achieved some benefits by allying with the French. During New France times, the French lived among the Aboriginals and learned their culture and way of life. After the American Revolution, the British acquired land treaties with Aboriginal nations to support their growing immigration to Canada. Today, Aboriginals are still fighting for their rights and to have a bigger voice within Canada. Currently, Aboriginals make up approximately 3% of the Canadian population.
Before Confederation, both the French and English had alliances with various Native peoples. Generally, Aboriginals preferred to be allied with the French rather than the English. They benefited more by being allies of the former and were treated with considerably more respect. During the Seven Years War, the French treated the Aboriginal peoples as independent nations. The allies of France gained advantages in trade and influence over other Aboriginal nations. On the other hand, during the American Revolution, the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca Peoples of the Six Nations Iroquois Alliance fought on the British side because they believed that this would allow them to retain their territory in the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes regions. These tribes were fighting for survival. At the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, Native peoples were not considered or mentioned. The lands west of the Ohio Valley and south of the Great Lakes were given to the United States with no protection offered to the Aboriginals who had lived on the now American lands. These people had no...
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