The pre-contact tenants of the land were the Algonquians, this term was used to describe the many tribes ascribed to these lands- including but not limited to; Abenaki, Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Malecite, Mississauga and Montagnais among others. Their presence has been documented for time immemorial but has been found to be around 4000 BCE. The vast proliferation of these tribes included the Ottawa river and exceeded the boarders of the province of Ontario and was spread across a vast area of Central North America.
The arrival of European colonists disrupted the way of life for all Indigenous peoples in many ways- for the most part it affected the entire continent as the population was not imune to diseases such as Influenza, Measles, Scarlette Fever, Small Pox and Tuberculosis. The decimation is thought to be deliberate but, regardless of intention, the lives lost was an immeasurable decimation that affected the people of the region and across North America. There are only estimations of the lives lost due to these foreign viruses, with scholars estimating 93% of First Nations were decimated by 1900.
In 2016, the Canadian Census reported that just over 25,000 people in the area of Ottawa (Gatineau), Ontario claimed to be of First Nations, Inuit or Métis heritage. There has been a resurgence in the thriving people and their culture, with growing amounts of events and activities around the area. The nations have adapted the resources of the colonizers and thrived in spite of colonization. Ontario boasts many ceremonial celebrations such as pow wows, Indigenous Peoples Day, cultural exhibits and even the ImagineNative film festival, the largest in the world.