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Every Aboriginal society has its own name, developed historically and used for centuries. After Europeans arrived, some Aboriginal societies came to be known by names that were more familiar to English and French speakers, such as "Thompson" or "Couteau" for "Nlaka'pamux." Other Aboriginal societies came to be known by names based on linguistic misunderstandings, such as "Nootka" and "Mi'kmaq."

Aboriginal people have remembered and used their original names among themselves. Today, more and more original names are coming into common use, and the substitute names are fading away.

Innu, that's our name... It's the name that respects our way of life, and it wasn't given to us by the government... Like the Inuit, who have their own name, we, the Innu, want to be called by our true name.

William-Mathieu Mark, quoted in Aitnanu : la vie quotidienne d'Hélène et de William-Mathieu Mark.

See also:
Names of Northern Plains and Plateau peoples

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