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Ableism: An ideology and system of oppression in society that holds that some bodies are more valuable than others, which limits the potential of people with disabilities. People with disabilities are assumed to be less worthy of respect and consideration, less able to contribute and take part and of less value than other people. Ableism can be conscious or unconscious and is embedded in institutions, systems and the broader culture of a society.

Allyship: A conscious and continuous practice of learning in which a person in a position of privilege and power works in collaboration based on trust and accountability with a person or group experiencing oppression

Anti-colonialism: Opposed to colonial rule. Opposing or resisting colonialism.

Anti-oppressive: An active and consistent process of change to eliminate individual, institutional and systemic racism (and other systemic forces of oppression) as well as the oppression and injustice they cause.

Anti-racism: The active process of identifying and eliminating racism by challenging and changing structures, systems, policies, practices, and beliefs that perpetuate racist actions at the cultural, individual, institutional and systemic levels.




Bias/Biases: A predisposition, prejudice or generalization about a group of persons based on personal characteristics or stereotypes.

Binary: Relating to, composed of or involving two things. An example in gender identity is the sex/gender binary, a system of viewing sex and gender as consisting solely of two categories: male and female or man and woman.

Buffalo Treaty: The original treaty signing occurred September 23, 2014 on the Blackfeet Territory in Montana, with four additional First Nations singing in Banff, Alberta in August 2015. This treaty, often referred to as the "Buffalo Treaty," is an agreement of cooperation, renewal, and restoration.

Bullying: Repeated, aggressive or disrespectful behaviour intended to hurt another person physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual or individuals behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person. The three features of bullying are: a) it is deliberate, b) it is disrespectful, c) it is repeated.

Bystander: A person present at an event where a negative or discriminatory behaviour happens, does nothing in defense of or in support of the recipient of the act.




Classism: Discrimination or prejudice based on social or economic class. Classism, in which one group has power and privilege over another group based on income or access to resources, is a form of systemic oppression.

Collaboration When done well, a process of collaboration (or empowerment) enhances the potential of research as a tool for social change (“walking along beside” similar to the wampum belt). In addition to creating positive outcomes to address inequity, this process provides for positive change benefitting the community directly.

Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonization, colonisers may impose their religion, language, economics, and other cultural practices. The foreign administrators rule the territory in pursuit of their interests, seeking to benefit from the colonised region's people and resources. It is associated with but distinct from imperialism.

Community governance framework: A community governance framework is one that encompasses data sovereignty, governance and stewardship principles.

Constitutionally protected peoples: Recognition that Indigenous peoples have an inherent, constitutionally protected right to self-government, which means a right to manage their own affairs.

Consensus Process (Indigenous): Useful for bringing knowledge holders together to produce consensus or guiding statements that address the topic at hand in a way that is accessible to lay people and professionals. Consensus development panels can be adapted to suit the long-standing traditions within many Indigenous communities that utilise some form of consensus method in leadership and governance. Indigenous consensus process to differentiate it from other standard definitions and methods.

Consultation There is a persistent tension between the need to consult and a lack of meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities when you would like to localize your knowledge. Many Indigenous communities are fatigued over the sheer number of consultations they go through with nothing being done in and their rights eroded. Lack of relationality, reciprocity and respect are present when someone comes in and wants to consult.

Creator: Many Indigenous Peoples subscribe to the idea of a Creator, Great Spirit or Great Mystery — a power or being that has created the world and everything in it. These beings are often described as good or well-intentioned, though dangerous if treated carelessly or with disrespect.

Critical race, disability and queer theory analyzes race, disability and sexuality, sex and gender, respectively, as cultural, historical, relative, social and political constructions.


Cultural appropriation is the inappropriate or unacknowledged adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from minority cultures.



Data governance refers to who holds decision making powers about the use, collection, dissemination and storage of data

Data sovereignty can be understood as the right of a nation, group of people or individual to exert control over the governance of data collection, application and ownership.

Data stewardship can be understood as data management, including such issues as the “acquisition, storage, aggregation and de-identification and procedures for data release and use.” Decolonization The ongoing process of recognizing and removing colonial powers.  

Decolonization is about accepting and breaking down Canada's colonial history and its impact on Indigenous Peoples, both historically and in the present day. Decolonization is further complicated in Canada due to the fact that the original colonizers did not leave Canada, and the colonial structures they put in place continue to be present today.

De-identified information refers to data that has been ‘cleaned’ of details that would allow someone’s identity to be known. In qualitative and quantitative research, it can encompass both direct information (like someone’s name or date of birth) and contextual information that might make it easy to figure out someone’s identity (like someone’s job). De-identified information, then, is information that has been stripped of all “direct identifiers”—that is, all information that can be used to identify the people from whom information was derived.

Discrimination: Any practice, comment or conduct known or ought to reasonably be known to be unwelcome, which is related to the following grounds protected in legislation: race, color, ancestry, place of origin, religious beliefs, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family status, source of income and sexual orientation.

Deep Listening Method: An Indigenous approach to learning and working in a state of togetherness that is informed by the concepts of community and reciprocity.

Devil’s Advocate: A person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate or test the strength of the opposing arguments.

Doctrine of Discovery: A concept of public international law that was promulgated by the Catholic Church and European monarchies in order to legitimize the colonization and evangelization of lands outside Europe. Between the mid-fifteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, this idea allowed European entities to seize lands inhabited by Indigenous peoples under the guise of "discovering new land", meaning land not inhabited by Christians.




Elder: Indigenous Elders are respected individuals who play key roles in Indigenous communities. They are important knowledge keepers, and they also help to ensure cultural continuity. As living connections to the past, Elders serve as teachers, healers, advisors and counsellors. Elder knowledge is culturally specific, meaning Anishinaabeg teachings, for example, are not necessarily Cree teachings. However, Elders share some commonalities; for instance, spirituality and tradition shape their lives as well as the guidance they provide to others. Generally, an Elder is someone with enough life experience and knowledge of Indigenous traditions to offer guidance and teachings grounded within that experience and knowledge. An Elder is expected to live by what they teach. If an Elder becomes caught up in controversy by failing to follow tradition or their own teachings, other Elders and community members will stop recognizing that individual as an Elder.

It is important that Elders communicate their knowledge to others in a meaningful manner. An Elder is meant to be non-judgmental and an excellent listener. Generally, they have a good understanding of self, shaped by life experience and knowledge of tradition and culture. Elders are humble people who never aspired or claimed the title until their communities and other Elders referred to them as such.


While Elders are often seniors, this is not always the case. Not all Indigenous seniors are Elders, and not all Elders are Elderly. An Elder is recognized as such by their Indigenous community.

Engagement: Indigenous engagement means maintaining the relationship and building respect reciprocity and relationality. Building on and maintaining the relationship is just as critical as initial engagement. One of the mantras of meaningful engagement is “early, often and ongoing”. Ensure that community issues raised in the Initial Phase are being addressed and communicate how you are addressing them; and, follow through on commitments made during the issues engagement.

Respectful engagement with a community is more than “getting them on-side” for approval or to get your own way. Achieving support for your project is not the means to the end - it’s a step together in a long relationship.

Indigenous engagement unfortunately is sometimes viewed as either a box to be checked off on the path to project permitting, or a process that must be endured/undertaken for the sake of appearances. From an Indigenous standpoint, when an organization commits to Indigenous engagement the team involved often comes away enriched, humbled and grateful for the opportunity to engage with and learn from an Indigenous community. 

Ethnographic: The study of people in their own environment through the use of methods such as participant observation and face-to-face interviewing.

Equity: The condition that would be achieved if one’s identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. Equity work includes work to address root causes of inequities, not just their manifestation. This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes or fail to eliminate them.

Equity-enhancing research: Refers to applied research that contributes to alleviating social inequalities by surfacing the root causes of inequalities in areas such as healthcare, education and the law. It takes a direct and intentional approach—a distinct process of recognizing differences within groups of individuals and using this recognition to achieve equality in all aspects of a person’s life—to make society more just.



Gender policing: The act of imposing or enforcing normative gender expressions on an individual who is perceived as not adequately performing these via their appearance or behavior, the sex that was assigned to them at birth.

Gladue report: A pre-sentencing report that makes recommendations to a judge about what an appropriate sentence might be for an Indigenous person convicted of a crime. Gladue reports can be prepared for anyone who self-identifies as Indigenous. Gladue reports consider the unique systemic or background factors that may have a played a part in the Indigenous person being charged with a criminal offence. The Criminal Code makes it mandatory for judges to consider these factors in sentencing an Indigenous person regardless of whether a Gladue report has been prepared.



Harassment: Any single incident or repeated incidents of objectionable or unwelcome conduct, comment or action by a person that knows or ought to reasonably know would cause offence or humiliation or adversely affect another person’s health and safety and can include discrimination and sexual solicitations or advances. This can include incidents that occur outside of the workplace or working hours, but are related to the workplace or harassment from clients and service recipients.

Heterosexism: The assumption that heterosexuality is superior, preferable and the only right, normal or moral expression of sexuality. It can be the reason for less overt forms of discrimination against LBGTQ2S+ people, in which the person or organization responsible may not intend or recognize their bias.

Holism/Wholism: Relates to the inherent interconnection with the earth and all the spirits of the Creation. The centered and quartered circle is a sign of wholeness, of inclusiveness of all reality, of life, or balance and harmony between humans and nature.



Immigrant: A person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.

Indigenous: First Nations, Inuit and Métis people are Indigenous people who are constitutionally sovereign with “inherent rights to self-determination” and therefore distinct from other systemically oppressed communities.

The term “Indigenous” refers to people who collectively self-identify as having historical continuity with pre-colonial societies and form non-dominant groups within wider nation-states (United Nations, 2016). Indigenous people are diverse and unique to the group or the geographic location with whom they identify whether it is First Nation, Metis, or Inuit descent, and who may or may not have Indigenous status with the Government of Canada.

Imperialism: The state policy, practice, or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control of other areas, often through employing hard power (economic and military power), but also soft power (cultural and diplomatic power). While related to the concepts of colonialism and empire, imperialism is a distinct concept that can apply to other forms of expansion and many forms of government.


“In a good way”: A series of relational protocols for engaging with one another that has integrity, holism, respect, reciprocity, relationality, accountability, using your heart, mind, physical and spiritual self and also being inclusive of the land, water, air, animals, birds, fish, and one another. It may be utilizing different pedagogies to get to a place.

Indigenization: The process by which Indigenous ways of knowing, being, doing and relating are incorporated into educational, organizational, cultural and social structures.

Information sharing agreements: Provide the terms of reference for data sharing between multiple organizations or people; may be legally binding; highlight specific responsibilities, including data control, access, use and storage; and can support a “wide variety of data sharing policies” at the institutional level.

Intergenerational trauma: Epigenetic effects of the (example) residential school legacy on Indigenous Peoples. There is a direct connection between the extent of psychological trauma and the number of generations that have been through (example) the residential school system. Genetic changes (stimulated by states such as trauma) can be passed on to those who have NOT experienced trauma or other stressors from those parents or grandparents who have. Understanding the effects between epigenetic methylation changes (i.e. how the environment and various exposures affect our or our progenies’ ability to methylate) and triggers, such as trauma, may be fundamental. Understanding this relationship and how a particular individual methylates (i.e. how efficient methyl group transfers keep a person’s body in good working order) it may allow us to have the ability to actually interact in a POSITIVE way with people who suffer from this. The process of methylation is essential for helping one repair your DNA (to prevent conditions such as cancer). The process also helps detoxification, mood, keeps inflammation in check, and keep cardiovascular risk and disease in check)

Intersectionality: A concept first developed by lawyer, activist and scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in relationship to Black women and the law in the United States. Crenshaw noticed that the legal system failed Black women because it did not acknowledge, or address, systemic inequalities linked to the intersections of racism and sexism. Since that time the concept has been more broadly adopted in health care, education, and other areas. Olena Hankivsky, a professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Public Policy, notes, “according to an intersectionality perspective, inequities are never the result of single, distinct factors. Rather, they are the outcome of intersections of different social locations, power relations and experiences.”



Knowledge Keeper/Traditional Knowledge Holder/Elder: Indigenous people who are knowledgeable in various aspects and forms of Indigenous knowledge and are recognized in their communities for their expertise and depth of knowledge. A Traditional Knowledge Holder is not necessarily and Elder and vice versa.



Lateral Violence:  Displaced violence; that is anger and rage directed towards members within a marginalized or oppressed community rather than towards the oppressors of the community - one's peers rather than adversaries.

LGBTQ2S+ Short for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirit and many other people on the wide, diverse spectrum of human gender and sexuality.



Marginalized: Marginalized populations are groups and communities that experience discrimination and exclusion (social, political and economic) because of unequal power relationships in economic, political, social and cultural dimensions. When you push people to the edge of society by not allowing them a place within it, you marginalize them. 

Medicine Bundles: Also called “sacred bundles”, wrapped collections of spiritually significant items, were the focus of most Indigenous spiritual rituals in the Plains region. Fixed rules of inheritance governed the passing down of each bundle from generation to generation. Formal transfer was a solemn ceremony and the new owner had to learn the significance of all objects in the bundle, details of visions to which they owed their origins, and songs that established their validity. Feasts were given for bundles by both owners and non-owners. Traditionally and in modern times, medicine bundles have been a vital part of Indigenous spirituality on the Plains.

Misogyny: Derived from the Ancient Greek word “mīsoguníā,” which means hatred towards women. It includes hatred of femininity. Misogyny has taken shape in multiple forms such as toxic masculinity, male privilege, patriarchy, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, belittling of women and gender-diverse people, gender-based violence and sexual objectification.


Neocolonialism: The continuation or reimposition of imperialist rule by a state (usually, a former colonial power) over another nominally independent state (usually, a former colony). Neocolonialism takes the form of economic imperialismglobalizationcultural imperialism  and conditional aid to influence or control a developing country instead of the previous colonial methods of direct military control or indirect political control (hegemony).

Norms: Behaviours or ways of being that are considered normal, expected or accepted standards within a setting or group.



OCAP® (Ownership, Control, Access, Possession) - The First Nations Information Governance Centre emphasizes that OCAP® principles are specific to First Nations Peoples and they do “not apply to non-First Nations information or research.” The principles are:

  • Ownership: The notion of ownership refers to the relationship of a First Nations community to its cultural knowledge, data and information. The principle states that a community or group owns information collectively in the same way that an individual owns their personal information. Ownership is distinct from stewardship. The stewardship or custodianship of data or information by an institution that is accountable to the group is a mechanism through which ownership may be maintained.


  • Control:The aspirations and inherent rights of First Nations to maintain and regain control of all aspects of their lives and institutions extend to information and data. The principle of control asserts that First Nations people, their communities and representative bodies must control all aspects of information management, from collection of data to the use, disclosure and ultimate destruction of data. Access: First Nations must have access to information and data about themselves and their communities, regardless of where it is held. The principle also refers to the right of First Nations communities and organizations to manage and make decisions regarding who can access their collective information.


  • Possession:While ownership identifies the relationship between a people and their data, possession reflects the state of stewardship of data. First Nation possession puts data within First Nation jurisdiction and therefore, within First Nation control. Possession is the mechanism to assert and protect ownership and control. First Nations generally exercise little or no control over data that is in the possession of others, particularly other governments.


  • Over-researching: Subjects systemically oppressed communities to multiple research projects with little say in terms of the who, what, where, when, why and how of research. This has affected many oppressed communities. Because research can be a way of intentionally or unintentionally exerting social control, there is a tendency for people in power to over-research systemically oppressed groups, to tokenize experiences of oppression as a novel or interesting social issue and to reproduce previous research with little accountability to the communities they study. “Outsider” researchers have sometimes inadvertently harmed communities when their research has created more difficulties for communities than solutions to the problems they face.

Oppression: The use of power to disempower, marginalize, subordinate, and silence one social group or category, in order to further empower the oppressor.




A pan-Indigenous approach is a philosophical and political approach that promotes unity—and, to some extent, reduction in cultural diversity—among different Indigenous communities, regardless of distinctions between Nations and cultural differences. In the B.C. context, First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities are incredibly diverse. Demographic studies that do not account for differences between, and within, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities can perpetuate colonial norms. For example, there are over 200 distinct First Nations across BC, more than 30 distinct languages and approximately 60 dialects spoken in the province. Reducing this diversity to three monolithic categories has the potential to undermine Indigenous self-determination.

Pathologization is the process of approaching a health or behavioural condition arising from political, socioeconomic, oppressive and power based disadvantage as if it were a medical or psychological condition.

Pedagogy: The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.

Positionality: The social and political context shaping your identity in terms of your race, class, gender, sexuality and ability status. Positionality also describes how this identity influences—and potentially biases—your understanding of and outlook on the world.

Post-colonialism: The critical academic study of the cultural, political and economic legacy of colonialism and imperialism, focusing on the impact of human control and exploitation of colonized people and their lands.

Power: The ability to access resources and opportunities, decide the distribution of resources and opportunities; and make decisions that impact others. It can also be defined as the capacity to influence others, including decision makers.

Psychological Safety: The absence of harm and / or threat of harm to mental well-being that a worker may experience.



Racialization: The process by which societies construct races as real, different and unequal in ways that affect economic, political and social life.

Racialized Communities: Frequently referred to as 'visible minorities' the term 'racialized communities' encompasses all people that are non-Caucasian in race or non-White in colour. Indigenous peoples in Canada are sometimes excluded from this definition, but should not be.

Racism: A system of advantage based on race that gives power to one group to carry out systemic discrimination through institutional policies and practices while shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support the racist policies and practices.

Redistributive politics and economics: A redistributive political or economic policy is one in which costs are borne by a relatively small number of groups or individuals while benefits are expected to be enjoyed by a different group in society.

Reparation motions: The formal procedure of asking a government body to consider taking action to repair the ongoing wealth and opportunity gaps caused by historic racism and discrimination against a particular group.


Restorative Justice: A method of resolving disputes that addresses the harm caused by crime or conflict and promotes meaningful resolutions. It is often referred to as 'alternative dispute resolution. It is a voluntary process that addresses the victim's needs and holds offenders responsible for their actions.



Self-determination: The fundamental right of all people to freely decide their own political status and to freely pursue their own cultural, economic, and social development.

Settler: A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize the area.

Settler colonialism: A type of colonialism in which the indigenous peoples of a colonized region are displaced by settlers who permanently form a society there.

Settler Harm Reduction: Projects aimed at alleviating suffering and the harms of colonialism (rather than the work aimed at transforming the colonial structure itself). Settler harm reduction can function as a stopgap measure to reduce harm and may be urgently necessary. Settler harm reduction is not the same as decolonization and does not inherently offer any pathways that lead to decolonization. (see Eve Tuck & K Wayne Yang, “Decolonization is not a Metaphor” (2012).

Sexism is an ideology and system of oppression in society that holds that one sex or gender is more valuable, more worthy of respect and consideration and more able to contribute and participate than people of other sexes or genders. Sexism can be conscious or unconscious and is embedded in institutions, systems and the broader culture of a society.


Sharing circles: Provide opportunities for each voice to be heard, respected, and valued. They are a traditional practice in some Indigenous communities from various parts of Turtle Island, and are designed to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to share their opinions and ideas. Participants in the sharing circle are reminded to share their own opinions and speak their own voice. They are also reminded to not comment on what anyone else has said, but to focus on expressing their own feelings. Throughout the sharing circle, only the person with the talking piece (an object used specifically for the purpose of identifying who is sharing) has the opportunity to speak. The participants in the circle are encouraged to listen to the thoughts and ideas being shared by each of the other participants. While listening, participants are encouraged not to judge what people are sharing. Instead, participants listen to the ideas and opinions of their co-participants and are open to learning from each person in the circle.

Social construction is the understanding that categories often taken to be natural and biological such as race, sex and gender are cultural, historical, relative, social, and political constructions.

Social location: An individual's social location is defined by a combination of factors such as gender, race, social class, age, ability, religion, sexual orientation, and geographic location. This makes social location unique to each individual – no two individuals will have the exact same social location.


Socio-demographic: Qualities are those characterized by a combination of sociological and demographic characteristics including age, sex, education, migration background and ethnicity, religious affiliation, marital status, household, employment and income, among other things.

Sovereignty is the right of a nation or group of people to exert control over governance of all aspects of their lives, including legal, political, economic, social and cultural factors.

Stigmatization has been described as “a dynamic process of devaluation that significantly discredits an individual in the eyes of others.” The qualities to which stigma adheres can be quite arbitrary—for example, skin colour, manner of speaking, or sexual preference. Within particular cultural settings, certain attributes are seized on and defined by others as discreditable or unworthy. Stigma is constructed and reinforced in language.

Structural means relating to or affecting the structure of something. In sociology, society is seen as a structure with interrelated parts designed to meet the social needs of the individuals in that society.

Structural change occurs when there is a transformation in the interaction or arrangement of parts in a system, in networks of social relationships or in groupings such as caste, kinship, family and occupational groups. Structural change addresses the root causes of social issues through these transformations. Structural context Structural context, in sociology, refers to the distinct stable arrangement of institutions whereby human beings in a society interact and live together.

Sweat Lodge: Ceremonies to cleanse the body of impurities (physical, emotional and spiritual). Cleansing is achieved through sweating in the sweat lodge. Seat lodges have significant spiritual value with specific protocols to be followed that differ slightly depending on the Indigenous Nation. The entrance of the sweat lodge for example, usually faces east, and just before the entrance is the sacred fire pit, where stones are heated before they are brought into the seat lodge during the ceremony, and then water is poured on them to produce steam.

Systemic: Something that is done according to a system or method.



Traditional Knowledge: The philosophical foundation of traditional knowledge revolves around a holistic model that recognizes the intimate inter-connectedness between the person, their environment, the animals and everything around them (water, air, earth, spirit, mental, physical, emotional, rocks, stars, plants, winds).

Treaty:  A binding, formal agreement, contract, or other written instrument that establishes obligations between two or more subjects of international law (primarily  states and international organizations). The term treaty is used generically to describe a variety of instruments, including conventions, agreements, arrangements, protocolscovenants, charters, and acts. In the strict sense of the term, however, many such instruments are not treaties. The key distinguishing feature of a treaty is that it is binding. For example, whereas the United Nations (UN) Charter (1945) created a binding agreement and is thus a treaty, the Charter of Paris (1990), which established the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (formerly the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe), is not a binding document as such and thus is not officially a treaty. Treaties are expected to be executed in good faith, in keeping with the principle of pacta sunt servanda (Latin: “agreements must be kept”), arguably the oldest principle of international law. Without this principle, which is explicitly mentioned in many agreements, treaties would be neither binding nor enforceable.

Trickster: The trickster is the embodiment of lawlessness and paradox. He is a divine buffoon, a hero who breaks taboos, a rebel, a coward, and a creator. Trickster helps establish social rules, and he deliberately flouts them. He is commonly depicted as deceitful and humorous.

Toxic Positivity: The belief that no matter how dire or difficult a situation is, people should maintain a positive mindset

Turtle Island: For some Indigenous peoples, Turtle Island refers to Canada. The name comes from various Indigenous oral histories that tell stories of a turtle that holds the world on its back. For some Indigenous peoples, the turtle is therefore considered an icon of life, and the story of Turtle Island consequently speaks to various spiritual and cultural beliefs. In various Indigenous origin stories, the turtle is said to support the world, and is an icon of life itself. Turtle Island therefore speaks to various spiritual beliefs about creation and for some, the turtle is a marker of identity, culture, autonomy and a deeply-held respect for the environment.

Two Eyed Seeing: Mi'kmaw Elder Albert Marshall defines Two-Eyed Seeing as “learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing, and to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all”.



Unceded land: Unceded means that Indigenous Peoples never ceded or legally signed away their lands to the Crown or to Canada. A traditional territory is the geographic area identified by an Indigenous Nation as the land they and/or their ancestors traditionally occupied and used. To be more precise: the Maritimes, nearly all of British Columbia and a large swath of eastern Ontario and Quebec, which includes Ottawa, sit on territories that were never signed away by the Indigenous people who inhabited them before Europeans settled in North America. In other words, this land was stolen. (It's worth noting that territories covered by treaties also weren't necessarily ceded ⁠— in many cases, the intent of the agreements was the sharing of territory, not the relinquishing of rights.)

Upstander: A person present at an event where a negative or discriminatory behaviour happens, who speaks up and intervenes in support of the recipient of the act. The intervention could happen in the moment or after the event.





Visiting: Concept of visiting with each other to gather information, rather than "meeting" or "interviewing" to get information in a one directional way. Visiting are Indigenous ways of gathering knowledge in oral form and is used nowadays frequently. This gets to the heart of things, rather than using the intellect (or head). It is a more wholistic process to exchange information (utilizing head, heart, physical, emotional from the quadrants of the medicine wheel) and it allows one to get to know others (through reciprocity and relationality) in what seems like an informal or more casual way but it is just as useful for long term learning and information gathering, if not MORE useful.





Wampum: Tubular purple and white beads made from shells. Wampum are used primarily by Indigenous peoples of the Eastern Woodlands for ornamental, ceremonial, diplomatic and commercial purposes.

Wampum Belts: Made of wampum, were used to mark agreements between peoples. (e.g. The Two Row Wampum Belt (Kaswentha of the Haudenosaunee is a well-known example of a wampum belt. It still symbolizes an agreement of mutual respect and peace between the Haudenosaunee and European newcomers (initially the Dutch) to North America. The principles were embodied in the belt by virtue of its design: two rows of purple wampum beads on a background of white beads represent a canoe and a European ship. The parallel paths represent the rules governing the behaviour of the Indigenous and European peoples. The Kaswentha stipulates that neither group will force their laws, traditions, customs or language on each other, but will coexist peacefully as each group follows their own path.

The Kaswentha continues to represent the Covenant Chain alliance between the Six Nations and their European partners, extending from the 17th century to modern times. As a foundational philosophical principle of respect and friendship, the Belt may be able to function as a framework for improved relations between Indigenous peoples and various levels of government.)

Windego: A windigo (or wendigo) is a supernatural being belonging to the spiritual traditions of Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. Windigos are described as powerful monsters that have a desire to kill and eat their victims. In most legends, humans transform into windigos because of their greed or weakness. Various Indigenous traditions consider windigos dangerous because of their thirst for blood and their ability to infect otherwise healthy people or communities with evil. Windigo legends are essentially cautionary tales about isolation and selfishness, and the importance of community.

White Euro-Canadian:  Canadians who are raced White with ancestry from Europe. They form the largest pan-ethnic group within Canada with roughly 73 percent of the population. European Canadians can further be classified into regional and ethnocultural subgroups.

White Settler Societies: Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States are White Settler Societies where both colonization and racialization exists in these country’s history and present an unacknowledged continuity that defines its dominant and structural social, economic, political and cultural orders that are steeped in structural hierarchies of racial inequality and attempts to erase its Indigenous reality. The countries all emerged through colonialism that involved the rationalization of a new colonial economic, social and political order. This was forced upon Indigenous Nations whole land was “legally” characterized as people-less through the deployment of the concept of Terra Nullius and the Doctrine of Discovery. This also involved the construction of Indigenous peoples as the inferior “other” and as other people of colour immigrated to Canada, they were subjected to unequal treatment and were constructed as inferior “races” as well. Many racialized newcomers came to these countries as a result of European colonization due to enormous global shifts of populations. Both colonizers and colonized people moved: colonized people as slaves, indentured labourers, domestic servants, travellers and traders. Colonization and racialization could be “one point of juncture from which to build an honest dialogue and form solidarity”. (Wallis, Sunseri, & Galabuzi, 2010, p. 3).