Commonly Used Indigenous Terms & Phrases You May Not Be Familiar With [3min read]

October is Mi’kmaq History Month, and we have lots of great information to share with you. If you’re not familiar with the difference between Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nation, Inuit, 惭茅迟颈蝉 and L’nu, or haven’t heard of the place-names Mi’kma’ki or Unama’ki, this blog is for you.

As a proud leader in Indigenous education, dedicated to Indigenizing the academy, we feel that all members of the 小猪视频community should use Mi’kmaq History Month as a learning opportunity. We’ve collected a list of some commonly used Indigenous terms and phrases that can help kickstart your learning this month!

Aboriginal: a legal term defined in the Canadian Constitution. Section 35(2) of the聽Canadian Constitution Act, 1982聽defines Aboriginal peoples of Canada as Indian, Inuit and 惭茅迟颈蝉. All Aboriginal peoples are Indigenous, but all Indigenous peoples are not Aboriginal.

Indigenous: an inclusive term that is becoming increasingly popular for those who see themselves as Indigenous. It means 鈥渙f the land鈥 and is not imposed by law or the Government of Canada.

Indian: a term not commonly used in modern-day Canada. It has largely been replaced by First Nation. The legal definition of Indian as outlined in the聽Indian Act聽of 1876 is still used in issues pertaining to the law. It is still used to describe Indian status.

First Nation: First Nation people are the Aboriginal peoples of Canada who are located south of the Arctic. Individual nations also have terms for themselves as Indigenous people, for example, the Mi鈥檏maq use the term 鈥湷⑩档耻k鈥 or 鈥湷⑩档耻.鈥

Inuit: a distinct group of Aboriginal Canadians who are neither First Nations or 惭茅迟颈蝉. In Inuktitut, Inuit means 鈥渢he People.鈥 Historically the term Eskimo was used to describe the Indigenous peoples of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland; however, Eskimo is seen as demeaning and unacceptable and has fallen out of use when referring to Arctic and subarctic peoples.

惭茅迟颈蝉: the descendants of Indigenous and European settlers who formed mixed communities around the fur trade. The 惭茅迟颈蝉 are recognized as Aboriginal peoples in Canada. The term 惭茅迟颈蝉 is viewed differently across the country and its use can be complex and contentious.

惭颈鈥檏尘补辩:听an Algonquian Indigenous nation that occupies the territory of 惭颈鈥檏尘补鈥檏颈 (Atlantic Canada and the Gasp茅 peninsula). This spelling indicates a reference to the collective or the plural form. It roughly translates to 鈥渇amily鈥 or 鈥渞elations.鈥

惭颈鈥檏尘补飞:听the singular form of Mi鈥檏maq. This spelling can also be used as an adjective where it precedes a noun (Mi鈥檏maw people, Mi鈥檏maw rights).

尝鈥档耻: or 尝鈥档耻k, is the term the Mi鈥檏maq use to describe themselves as Indigenous people. It means 鈥渢he people.鈥

Indian Act: the principal statute for governing First Nations in Canada. The聽础肠迟听does not apply to Inuit or 惭茅迟颈蝉 people and communities. The聽Indian 础肠迟听allows the federal government to administer status, governments, land and money.

惭颈鈥檏尘补鈥檏颈: the land or territory of the Mi鈥檏maq. It includes the聽Atlantic Provinces, some of Maine, and the Gasp茅 region of Quebec.

鲍苍补尘补鈥檏颈: the Mi鈥檏maw word for Cape Breton Island. It loosely translates to 鈥淟and of Fog.鈥

Reserve: a portion of land owned by the Canadian government that has been set aside for First Nation peoples.

Elder: an influential community member and knowledge holder who is recognized and respected for their teachings, values, and principles.