“Indian” can be a confusing and problematic word in Canada.
For example, I am a status Indian and a member of an Indian band, as well as a Treaty Indian. Others may self-identify as a non-status Indian.
The legal status and definition of an “Indian” can be found in section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867, and in federal legislation first passed in 1876, the Indian Act.
Furthermore, section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982 upholds the legitimacy of treaties.
It is perfectly acceptable to me for an Indigenous leader to use the term “Indian country.”
In her book, At the Bridge, scholar Wendy Wickwire notes that Indigenous peoples on reserves commonly refer to themselves as Indians.
In the end, given the effects of climate change, “Indian summer” is likely to be superseded by “smokey summer.”
Bob Burgel, Fisher River Cree Nation