Terminology

Terminology

The Steering Committee has adopted current terminology and applies it in the ways similar to The Accord on Indigenous Education (2010).

Section 1 explains the use of terms:

“The Canadian Constitution Act, 1982, section 35, defines Aboriginal people as Indian, Métis, or Inuit. Indian people are either status (registered with an Indian band or community) or non-status (not registered but are members of an Indian band or community). Aboriginal treaty rights are recognized in the Constitution Act. Scholars have argued that Aboriginal knowledge and heritage are Aboriginal rights protected under the Constitution and that Aboriginal people should be able to preserve their cultures, languages, customs, and knowledges because they are part of an Aboriginal right.

This Accord uses the term Indigenous to include the distinct Canadian terms Aboriginal, First Nations, Indian, Métis, and Inuit as well as the more global context of First Peoples’ epistemologies, ways of knowing, knowledge systems, and lived experience. Indigenous is both an international and local term, reflecting the reality that issues such as the impact of colonization have both global and local implications. Indigenous is the preferred term for the Accord on Indigenous Education; however, the terms Aboriginal, First Nations, Indian, Métis, Inuit, and Indigenous are used deliberately throughout this document to reflect the diverse, complex, and evolving nature of Indigenous identities in Canada. The use of the term Indigenous focuses attention on Aboriginal education in Canada, while at the same time engaging in a movement to address global educational issues.” 

Throughout the process, various terms are used depending on the context and specificity. These terms may carry colonial underpinning and reflect a legacy of power dynamics. The intent of the use of these terms in the Aboriginal Strategic Plan is to communicate in respectful, current, understandable ways that address people without an attempt to control their identities.

Indigenization / indigenizing

The indigenization of the academy honours indigenous peoples' ways of knowing in the curriculum, in research, in responsive programming, and in relationships with communities. Indigenizing Mount Royal University is an institutional response directed to reconciliation, decolonization of education, and to actively engage efforts to support post-secondary indigenous education. This activity reflects a commitment to the Universities Canada Principles on Indigenous Education. 

SourcesAccord on Indigenous Education. Association of Canadian Deans of Education. 2010.

University Canada principles on Indigenous education. 2015.