The word nation has many different meanings in social sciences:

  1. A large collection (group, joining, etc.) of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language inhabiting a particular country or territory.  For example, there are 11 Indigenous Nations in Quebec with established communities. Each of these Nations is made up of a group of people that are united in a common descent, history, culture, or language. 
  2. A large area of land is controlled by its own government.
  3. The nation: the people who live in a nation (territory).