TURTLE ISLAND at the Moonspeaker
|Number of First Nations||Number of Reserves||Average Number of Reserves per First Nation||Area of Province/Territory (km2)||Reserve Area (km2)||Percentage of Province/Territory Reserved|
|British Columbia||198||1 707||8.6||944 735||5 390.767||0.6|
|Alberta||48||135||2.8||661 848||7 339.7||1.1|
|Saskatchewan||70||734||10.5||651 900||9 746.3||1.5|
|Manitoba||63||290||4.6||649 950||4 689||0.7|
|Ontario||138||204||1.5||1 076 395||11 276||1.0|
|Québec||40||42||1.05||1 542 056||827.3||0.05|
|New Brunswick||15||27||1.8||72 908||178.3||0.2|
|Nova Scotia||13||40||3.1||55 283||117.1||0.2|
|Prince Edward Island||2||6||3||5 660||7.6||0.1|
|Northwest Territories||26||4||0.2||1 346 106||576.3||0.04|
|Canada||634||3 228||0.2||9 984 670||40 257||0.4|
Currently, canada is either the fourth or fifth largest nation-state in the world. Number one is russia, which is almost twice as big, and the united states is either fourth or fifth in area as well. (canada and the united states are close in area, and the difference in ranking seems to relate to whether or which united states colonies are counted.) Population-wise, canada's most recent population count from 2011 is 33 476 688, for russia a 2015 estimate excluding crimea is 143 975 923, and for the united states the 2015 estimate is 324 464 680. These all come from Wikipedia, but they are consistent with the historical data I have from more formal sources including government websites. In each country, the numbers of Indigenous people is highly contested for a combination of political reasons. One of the worst sources of confusion is willfully created by the colonial governments themselves, which are continuing to try to control and define Indigenous identity in order to get rid of Indigenous people at least on paper, for good. For russia I have no estimates of the Indigenous population at all, for canada numbers from the census range seem to hover around 1 000 000, and there are good reasons to consider this a significant underestimate. According to Wikipedia based on united states census data, the estimated Indigenous population is roughly 5 000 000, again probably an underestimate though it may not be as far out as canada's.
Now it is probably time to explain a bit about Nunavut. Nunavut is officially the newest territory in canada, the result of the latest partition of the northwest territories. Originally, the northwest territories included the majority of what is now labelled canada on most maps between the rocky mountains, the far north, and the current border between manitoba and ontario. Nunavut, "Our Land" in Inuktitut, is a majority Indigenous place, at least 84% Inuit, as it has been for time immemorial. The territory was created on the current canadian map by plebiscite and became official in 1999 after over twenty years of negotiations. As Nunavut Tourism will tell you on their website, Nunavut is 2 093 190 square kilometres, the biggest province or territory in the country. It has a consensus government led by a premier and legislative assembly, and since it is a majority Inuit place, it has an Inuit government. What Nunavut is not, is a reserve. Nor are Inuit registered under the indian act.
In canada, most land is held by the "crown" which means the queen of england although it is actually controlled by the federal or provincial governments. The area reserved to the crown therefore, is 8 886 356 km2, 89 per cent of the entire country. Which means, 10.6 percent is in private hands. That makes 0.9 percent of the all land in the country is held in private hands. The number of private hands doing the holding is far fewer than the non-Indigenous population, and if it is close to half of canada's population in this day and age, I would be completely astonished. So here we have lots of numbers, let's try to get a better sense of just how big these smaller areas are. The area of reserved land for First Nations would fit inside the province of nova scotia, or would encompass switzerland. The privately held lands, 1 058 087 km2 is roughly the size of ontario or colombia. Puts things in a bit better perspective, doesn't it?