The term "First Nations" for Canada's so-called Indian peoples first started to be used in the 1980s (since many consider "Indian" to be offensive based on colonial ignorance). It groups together peoples with their own unique languages, histories and cultures and is a separate designation to the other indigenous peoples of Canada, the Inuit of the Arctic region and the Métis who trace their origins to both original North Americans and Europeans.
This map shows the approximate areas the First Nation language speakers occupied on the arrival of the European settlers.
In a 2016 survey, 15.6% of the First Nation people reported being able to speak an Indigenous language. This compared to 21.4% in 2006. Although the percentage of the First Nation population able to speak an Indigenous language declined between 2006 and 2016, due to the expansion in the population the number of people able to speak an Indigenous language actually increased by 3.1%.
Many languages of the world are related to each other however distantly (for example English and Hindi are part of the Indo-European family) and efforts have been made to relate all the languages of the First Nations to each other, but it is now thought that some of these language groups are entirely isolated from each other.
Throughout Canada's history indigenous communities have faced many hardships. This tea towel celebrates Canada's respect for cultural and linguistic diversity of which the country is rightly proud.