Health, Education, Language, Dialect, and Culture in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Communities in Canada: An Overview
First Nations, Inuit and Métis are the Indigenous people of Canada and the descendents of Canada’s original inhabitants. Like all Canadians, First Nations, Inuit and Métis have need of speech-language pathology services. To date, however, access to such services has been limited, and when accessible, they are not always culturally or linguistically relevant. In order to positively support First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, speech-language pathologists must educate themselves about many historical and contemporary factors that need to be taken into account in the design and delivery of services. The intent of this article is to provide a broad overview of some relevant information in the areas of health, education, culture, social interaction, and language. The information is intended to stimulate further exploration by the reader about the distinctive features, needs and goals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis clients and families. It is important to note that there is no monolithic Aboriginal culture or language. Any practitioner working in a First Nations, Inuit or Métis community or with First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals will need to inform themselves about the particular beliefs, experiences, culture(s), language(s) and socialization practice(s) relevant to that specific community or individual.