The First Nations are the various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The total population is nearly 700,000 people. Under the Employment Equity Act, First Nations are a "designated group", along with women, visible minorities, and persons with physical or mental disabilities. First Nations are not defined as a visible minority under the Act or by the criteria of Statistics Canada.
Within Canada, "First Nations" (most often used in the plural) has come into general use—replacing the deprecated term "Indians"—for the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Individuals using the term outside Canada include supporters Cascadian independent movement as well as American tribes within the Pacific Northwest. The singular, commonly used on culturally politicized reserves, is the term First Nations person (when gender-specific, First Nations man or First Nations woman). A more recent trend is for members of various nations to refer to themselves by their tribal or national identity only, e.g., "I'm Haida," or "We're Kwantlens," in recognition of the distinctiveness of First Nations ethnicities.