Plain Talk 3: Impacts of Contact

3.1. Meaning of Culture

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Meaning of Culture

Culture can be defined as the totality of the experiences, knowledge, activities, symbols, rituals, beliefs and values shared by a group of people, a society, or a nation. Culture is a way of life that can be transmitted by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.

Before the appearance of Europeans in the land area of what is now Canada, the First Nations inhabited and controlled their own regions and territories and developed sophisticated and intricate ways of living and thriving in their environments and on their lands. The vast country has distinct geographical differences, which had an influence on the cultural customs and practices of the resident First Nations.

A Pow Wow in Tyendinaga, Ontario.

Each First Nation had its own distinctive culture. Although First Nations peoples shared some cultural characteristics (for example, a strong relationship with the land and nature), nonetheless each First Nation had its own unique characters with respect to the cultural dimensions summarized previously.

Pow Wow dancers in Grand Entry in setting sun.
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