INDIANS OF CANADA*
presence of Canada's indigenous people helped Europeans survive
in this sometimes hostile new land. Not only did these new settlers
have to adapt to a new environment, but they had to face the challenges
of our winter, with its freezing temperatures, unknown hazards and
seemingly unending duration. Without their help, the Europeans'
presence in North America might have been short-lived! However,
building bridges between two different worlds is not always easy.
How better to understand one another than to visit the enchanting
environment of the Indians of Canada pavilion.
This pavilion is located near the Atlantic Provinces pavilion and
that of the United Nations. Its architecture draws on symbols from
Aboriginal culture. For example, the large metal and wood structure
in the centre resembles a teepee. The diversity of Canada's Aboriginal
people is represented through the works of artists from different
nations, such as the enormous totem pole standing outside. The exhibits
in this pavilion are thought-provoking. Photographs depicting the
living conditions of Indians reflect the consequences of the sometimes
difficult relationship they had with Europeans, and later, Canadians.
The exhibits also highlight their contribution to the exploration
of Canada, for example, new arrivals adopted Aboriginal ways such
as the birchbark canoe and snowshoes, and Indian guides were instrumental
in exploration. The presence of Canada's First Nations at Expo 67
is an opportunity to build relationships with one another, to introduce
to the whole world their traditional customs and values, as well
as the very difficult problems they are facing today.
*According to the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada,
the term "Aboriginal" should be used to designate First
Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, although in 1967, the term
"Indian" was used.