Francophone–anglophone relations may be the principal concern of most Québécois – eighty percent of them have French as their mother tongue – but the province’s population also includes eleven nations of aboriginal peoples, the majority of whom live on reservations. Aboriginal grievances are particularly acute in Québec as most of the province’s tribes are English-oriented – the Mohawks near Montréal even fought on the side of the British during the conquest. Still, relations are even bad between the authorities and French-speaking groups. The Hurons near Québec City battled in courts for eight years to retain their hunting rights; while around James Bay the Cree fought and won the right to block the expansion of Québec’s hydroelectric network which, had it been completed as planned, would have covered an area the size of Germany. Begun in 1971, the project nonetheless resulted in the displacement of Cree and Inuit.

Aboriginal peoples have categorically voted against separation and have used mostly peaceful methods to register their land claims, which amount to 85 percent of the province’s area. There was violence at the Mohawk uprising at Oka near Montréal in 1990, which, though condemned by most Canadians and aboriginals, drew attention to the concerns of aboriginal Canadians.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

15 awesome images of Canada

15 awesome images of Canada

Canada is has vast and varied landscape, from beautiful beaches to glassy mountain lakes. It's difficult to capture the country's real beauty in a photograph, b…

09 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

Vancouver sometimes gets knocked for being a bit dull – and while it’s true that its residents can be earlier to bed than in the rest of North America, thi…

05 Sep 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
Lunenburg: Canada's most colourful town

Lunenburg: Canada's most colourful town

Twenty years ago the facades of the wood-built buildings in Lunenburg, a UNESCO-listed fishing town in Nova Scotia, were white with black trimming. The only exc…

29 Oct 2015 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month