Aboriginal: The term "Aboriginal" is appropriate when referring to matters that affect First Nations (Indian) and Métis peoples. The word is most appropriately used as an adjective (e.g., Aboriginal person).
Aboriginal CAB: The term “Aboriginal CAB” stands for Aboriginal Community Advisory Board. Funded through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, Aboriginal CABs are the local organizing committee responsible for setting direction for addressing homelessness in the community or region.
Aboriginal Peoples: Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples -- Indians, Métis and Inuit peoples.
Aboriginal rights: Rights that some Aboriginal peoples of Canada hold as a result of their ancestors' long-standing use and occupancy of the land, e.g., to hunt, trap and fish on ancestral lands. Legally, the existence of specific Aboriginal rights are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Aboriginal self-government: Governments designed, established and administered by Aboriginal peoples.
Aboriginal title: A legal term that recognizes Aboriginal interest in the land. It is based on a long- standing use and occupancy of the land as descendants of the original inhabitants of Canada.
Aboriginal umbrella organization: An Aboriginal umbrella organization is any organization that represents the interests of diverse Aboriginal groups within a region or community.
Bill C-31: The pre-legislation name of the 1985 Act to Amend the Indian Act. This Act eliminated certain discriminatory provisions of the Indian Act. Bill C-31 enabled people affected by the discriminatory provisions of the old Indian Act to apply to have their Indian status restored.
Comprehensive Claims: Comprehensive claims are based on the recognition that there are continuing Aboriginal rights to lands and natural resources where Aboriginal title has not previously been dealt with by treaty and other legal means. The claims are called "comprehensive" because of their wide scope such as land title, fishing and trapping rights and financial compensation.
Constitution Act (B.N.A. Act), 1867: Section 91(24) of the Act states that legislative authority for "Indians, and Lands Reserved for the Indians" rests with the federal government.
Cultural Competency: Cultural competency, a term often used in the context of human resources, non-profit organizations, social services, and government agencies, refers to the ability to “deliver professional services in a way that is congruent with behavior and expectations normative for a given community and that are adapted to suit the specific needs of individuals and families from that community” (Green, 1999, p. 87). Scholars often agree that the components of cultural competency include self-awareness, knowledge, skills, and practice (Sakamoto, 2007). Cultural competence should be seen as a continual process of building one’s capacity in each of these areas (see Child & Development Institute, 2007).
Custom: A traditional Aboriginal practice.
Elder(s): Aboriginal persons who are respected and consulted due to their experience, wisdom, knowledge, background and insight. Elder does not necessarily equate with age.
First Nation(s): A term that came into common usage in the 1970s to replace the word "Indian". Although the term First Nation is widely used, no legal definition of it exists. The term has also been adopted to replace the word "Band" in the naming of communities.
Indian Act: This is the Canadian federal legislation, first passed in 1876, that sets out certain federal government obligations, and regulates the management of Indian reserve lands. The Act has been amended several times, most recently in 1985 (see Bill C-31).
Indigenous: Generally used in the international context, "indigenous" refers to peoples who are original to a particular territory. This term is very similar to Aboriginal and has a positive connotation.
Inherent Right of Self-government: Derived from Aboriginal peoples' use and occupation of certain lands from time immemorial.
Inuit: An Aboriginal people in northern Canada, who live above the tree line in the Northwest Territories, and in Northern Quebec and Labrador. The word means "people" in the Inuit language - Inuktitut. The singular of Inuit is Inuk.
Land Claims: In 1973, the federal government recognized two broad classes of claims -- comprehensive and specific (see comprehensive claim and specific claim).
Métis: The term refers to Aboriginal people of mixed First Nation and European ancestry who identify themselves as Métis people, as distinct from First Nations people, Inuit or non-Aboriginal people. The Métis have a unique culture that draws on their diverse ancestral origins, such as Scottish, French, Ojibway and Cree.
Native: A term used to refer generally to Aboriginal peoples. The term "Aboriginal person" is preferred to "native".
Off-reserve: A term used to describe people, services or objects that are not part of a reserve, but relate to First Nations.
Reserve: Land set aside by the federal government for the use and occupancy of an Aboriginal group or Band. Legal title rests with the Crown in right of Canada.
Self-government: Self-government is the ability of peoples to govern themselves according to their values, cultures and traditions.
Specific Claims: Specific claims deal with specific grievances that First Nations may have regarding the fulfilment of treaties and grievances relating to the administration of First Nations' lands and assets under the Indian Act.
Treaty: An agreement between First Nations and the Crown. Between 1871 and 1906, six "numbered" Treaties (Treaties 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10) covering what is now the Province of Saskatchewan were signed between the Crown and First Nations.
Treaty Rights: Special rights to lands and entitlements that Indian people legally have as a result of treaties; rights protected under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Tribal Council: An association of First Nation (Band) Councils.