James S. Frideres' introduction to the current status of First Nations peoples considers often troubled relations with the federal government as well as their surprising resilience. Frideres' surveys pre- and post-contact and ends with recent court challenges; in spite of historical trauma anda century of extinguishment policies, First Nations people are flourishing across Canada. Frideres shows that understanding decades of misguided government policy helps make sense of sobering present indicators of health and welfare.This fascinating assessment draws on all the most recent and most reliable data of First Nations peoples across Canada, both on reserve and in urban centres. The first chapter is a concise, accessible description of First Nations populations before and following contact with European settlers, whereonce thriving healthy nations across the country faced decimation from imported disease and cultural change. The history of government attempts to "manage" First Nations people via the Indian Act, treaties, and other forms of legislation dispossessed them of land, livelihood, and identity. Today,First Nations people continue to live with the effects of these misguided policies, too often isolated and marginalized from the rest of Canada. Chapters consider all the key indicators in their historical context, including education, health, and criminal justice. Two chapters also deal with theissue of rights: land rights and Aboriginal rights, both complicated topics that emerge from different cultural worldviews. As rights legislation evolves however, new opportunities for reconciliation have emerged.This accessible and up-to-date account of social demographics will be essential reading for students and scholars wishing to understand the full context of First Nations people in Canada.