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Indigenous Terms 1

Indigenous Persons Terminology

Indigenous A term used to describe the collective group of First Nations, Métis , and Inuit peoples in Canada with an understanding that each is unique and diverse in their culture, traditions, language, and worldview.
First Nations A term used to describe Indigenous peoples of Canada who are of the land since time immemorial, but are neither Métis nor Inuit.
Métis The Métis National Council defined Metis in 2003: Métis means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of Historic Métis Nation ancestry, and is accepted by the Métis Nation.
Inuit The majority of the Inuit population lives in 53 communities spread across Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homeland encompassing 35% of Canada’s landmass and 50% of its coastline. Inuit have lived on this homeland since time immemorial.
Innu Are an Indigenous group who primarily live in northeastern Quebec and southern Labrador.
Peoples The plural “peoples” recognizes that more than one distinct group comprises the Indigenous population of Canada.
Status (Indians) Are those who are registered as “Indians” under the Indian Act within Canada. This is a legal identity.
Non-Status (Indians) This group generally lacks status under the Indian Act but have Indian heritage. This lack of status can be the result of a variety of reasons and circumstances.
Treaty Indian Are those who are members of a community whose ancestors signed a treaty with the Crown and as a result are entitled to treaty benefits.
Collective Rights Are rights guaranteed to specific groups in Canadian society for historical and constitutional reasons. These groups include: Indigenous peoples, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.
Self-Identifying Métis May or may not have a connection to the historic rights bearing Métis community.
Historic Rights Bearing Métis Includes self-identification and collective rights. A historic Métis community was a group of Métis with a distinctive collective identity, who lived together in the same geographic area and shared a common way of life.
Native An outdated and generally offensive collective term referring to Indians (Status, Non-status, Treaty), Métis, and Inuit but has largely been replaced by Indigenous. Some First Nations people refer to themselves as Native because they choose to.
Aboriginal Refers to the first inhabitants of Canada, and includes First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. This term came into popular usage in Canadian contexts after 1982, when Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution defined the term as such.
Indian The legal identity of a First Nations person who is registered under the Indian Act. Aside from this specific legal context, the term “Indian” in Canada is generally considered offensive. Although, some First Nations people refer to themselves as Indian.
Eskimo An offensive and outdated term referring to Inuit peoples. While some Inuit people may refer to themselves as “Eskimo,” it is recommended for non-Indigenous peoples to refrain from using this term.
Half-Breed A historical term for Métis. It is used in historical documents prior to the accepted use of the term Métis. However, it would be offensive to use the term to describe a Métis person.
Created by: DrAmy
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