Language used in submissions should be approached with caution. Most importantly, language should be respectful and reflect the diverse backgrounds of Indigenous cultures. Terms like Indigenous Peoples and Aboriginal Peoples are international umbrella terms which are used to encompass different and distinct groups. When referring to a specific group of Indigenous Peoples, a more particular term can be used that denotes to their specific culture, as long it is accurate: such as Anishinaabek, or Haudenosaunee.

Authors wishing to submit a piece to the journal shall read over the following terms and make any appropriate changes to the language used in their piece:


A legal term in Canada used to describe people registered under the Indian Act, some people described under Section 35, Constitution Act (1982), The Royal Proclamation of 1763 and other historical legal documents. It is considered socially unacceptable to refer to people as Indians in common speech and the word has fallen out of favour in academic writing. It should be avoided except in its legal definition.


An adjective used to describe people and culture who possess "indigenous qualities". People who may be said to be of "indigenous heritage" who no longer live indigenous lifestyles. Be careful to not use Indigenous and Aboriginal interchangeably as they have different meanings. Capitalize Indigenous when referring to actual peoples (i.e. Joe is indigenous, Cree are Indigenous peoples).


Always use the term as an adjective and always capitalize. Do not pluralize the term. Some consider it disrespectful to group Indian, Métis and Inuit under the single term Aboriginal. When possible refer to a peoples as specifically as possible.

The term cannot describe a person. It may be used in a name such as the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation or to describe First Nations education as a kind of education, or First Nations Fathering as an event that is held by residents of an Indigenous community. Inuit and Métis do not use this label.

first nations:

The term is often too general to be useful since there are natives everywhere such as native Torontonians. It still appears in popular media and common speech but is not appropriate for academic writing.