First Nation


plural First Nations
: 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 Fabricant
The provincial museum has one of the world's finest collections of First Nations art …Caroline Bates

Examples of First Nation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Like Valérie Courtois, a Canadian expert in Aboriginal forestry, who works with other First Nation activists and the Canadian government to protect national parks. Neda Ulaby, NPR, 1 Apr. 2024 Chief Andrea only learned about the other study in June 2018, after which the suit said dozens more members of the Pictou Landing First Nation community also became aware that their livers had been studied without their consent between 2017 and 2018. Leo Sands, Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2024 The documentary also follows the investigation launched by Williams Lake First Nation people after the 2021 discovery of 93 unmarked graves near St. Joseph’s — a discovery, it should be noted, that was followed by a dramatic increase in church fires attributed to arson. Joe Leydon, Variety, 31 Jan. 2024 After 93 unmarked graves were discovered in 2021, a team of Williams Lake First Nation people opened an investigation into the St. Joseph’s school. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Jan. 2024 The messy math of compensation More than a century later, Raymond Goodchild, a member of the Pays Plat First Nation on the Ontario shore of Lake Superior, testified in an Ontario court that the Crown’s failure to honor its promise had left Indigenous people impoverished. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2024 To determine the next steps, the provincial bereavement authority is now in talks with the Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, who share rights to the land, according to the Art Newspaper. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Jan. 2024 Many of his students worked on translating Indigenous languages, while Boas himself worked on analyzing the language of the Kwakiutl First Nation of British Columbia off and on for most of his life. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024 One blistering June evening in 2021, a wildfire burned through the entire place, and the neighboring Lytton First Nation. Michaela Cavanagh, The Atlantic, 22 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'First Nation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1980, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of First Nation was in 1980

Dictionary Entries Near First Nation

Cite this Entry

“First Nation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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