When Europeans explored Canada, all regions were occupied by indigenous people:
- Huron-Wendat of the Great Lakes region, such as the Iroquois
- Cree and Dene of the Northwest
- Sioux, who were nomadic, following the bison (buffalo) herd
- Inuit in the Arctic
- West Coast First Nations
Indigenous people lived off the land, some by hunting and gathering, others by raising crops. The first explorers called the indigenous people "Indians", because they thought they had reached the East Indies.