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Empower: Explore & Connect (Sub-Module 3 of 4 of Empower Module)

This section provides an overview of Indigenous communities, places, and spaces within Ontario.

Resources: Explore & Connect


Ontario is home to 23% of all Indigenous peoples in Canada. There are 133 First Nations communities located across Ontario, representing at least 7 major cultural and linguistic groups (Government of Canada). According to the 2021 census finding for Ontario, there are 251,030 individuals who identified themselves as First Nations, 134,615 who identified themselves as Métis, and 4,310 who identified themselves as Inuit (Statistics Canada).

Learn more


Learn more

Learn more about the Indigenous history in your area by exploring the land you are on:

  • Destination Ontario - Search for Indigenous Experiences across Ontario by region or by activity.
  • Indigenous Experience Ontario - A dedicated Indigenous tourism organization that focuses on uniting communities, Indigenous organizations and industry leaders to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Ontario.
  • Northern Ontario Travel - Showcases Indigenous experiences in Northern Ontario
  • Parks Canada Indigenous Tourism Experiences - Discover vibrant First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures as you hear their stories and learn about their experiences and traditions first-hand.


Virtual Exhibits & Digital Collections

  • I-Portal: Indigenous Studies Portal - A tool for faculty, students, researchers, and members of the community to access digital Indigenous studies resources. Its primary focus is on Indigenous peoples of Canada with a secondary focus on Indigenous peoples of the United States, Australia, Aotearoa – New Zealand, and other areas of the world.
  • Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre's online collection - Houses digital copies of public records related to the Indian residential school system and other colonial policies imposed on Indigenous peoples in Canada.
  • Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture - Chronicles traditional Métis history and culture on the Web and contains a wealth of primary documents – oral history interviews, photographs and various archival documents – in visual, audio and video files.
  • Witness Blanket - Inspired by a woven blanket, the Witness Blanket is a large-scale work of art. It contains hundreds of items reclaimed from residential schools, churches, government buildings and traditional and cultural structures from across Canada.

Virtual & In-Person Tours

  • Virtual Tour of Early Days: Indigenous Art at the McMichael - Follow along with a McMichael Docent to learn about the gallery’s long and proud history of collecting Indigenous art and the stories that go with them.
  • Woodland Cultural Centre - Offers a variety of tours, education programs, and workshops that offer interested visitors the opportunity to learn about an assortment of topics covering the past, present, and future of Southern Ontario’s First Nations peoples.

Visual & Performing Arts

The following is are a selection of resources on Indigenous art and artists. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. We value recommendations. If you'd like to suggest a resource, please fill out the Maamwi resource recommendation form.

Visual Arts

Performing Arts

Video: Norval Morrisseau

Learn about Ojibwe artist Norval Morrisseau and his artworks with the Art gallery of Algoma.