First Nation

plural First Nations

Definition of First Nation

: any of a number of peoples especially of Canada who are indigenous to the North American continent

Note: In Canada, the name First Nations refers to one of three major, legally recognized groups of aboriginal peoples, the other two being the Inuit and the Métis.

But then along came Idle No More, an ongoing grassroots movement led by Canada's First Nations, Métis and Inuit to defend treaty rights and demand respect from Ottawa.— Katrina Sieniuc Nearly 1,000 friends and family members gathered Saturday to celebrate the 100-year life of a revered elder of a southern Alberta First Nation.The Globe and Mail Some First Nations in northeastern Ontario have re-opened their borders as COVID-19 numbers drop …— Erik White Fort William First Nation and other First Nations in the Lake Superior region are among those that have a direct stake in the outcome.— Gary Rinne often used before another noun in both the singular and the plural The rare barnacles are sometimes imported from Spain and Portugal, but they're available now from Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, where the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation tribe is allowed to harvest 1,000 pounds a month.— Florence FabricantThe provincial museum has one of the world's finest collections of First Nations art …— Caroline Bates

First Known Use of First Nation

1980, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About First Nation

Time Traveler for First Nation

Time Traveler

The first known use of First Nation was in 1980

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near First Nation

first name

First Nation

first nerve

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for First Nation

Cite this Entry

“First Nation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!