Learn how to ensure your writing is inclusive of Indigenous Peoples.

Using culturally appropriate language and behaviour can help create an environment that is respectful, safe and more equitable for Indigenous Peoples. If you are unsure about the appropriate language to use, such as how to write or pronounce an Indigenous name or territory, reach out the person whose name you will be saying, the First Nation whose territory will be acknowledged or other verified sources and qualified people who can assist you.

One example of a verified source is our Fraser Salish Territory Acknowledgement guide, which contains all the appropriate land acknowledgements relevant to our region.

Meetings, presentations and e-signatures

  • Begin your meeting, event or presentation with a territorial acknowledgement. This demonstrates respect for Indigenous Peoples and is part of Fraser Health’s commitment to practice cultural safety and humility.
  • Add an acknowledgement in your email signature.

Indigenous names

  • Ensure to ask the person how they would like to be introduced.
  • Use the person’s Indigenous name, if they have one.
  • Identify the First Nation or community the person is affiliated with.
  • In written contexts, include write the First Nation, the colonial name in parenthesis, and then “First Nation.”
    • Example: Linda, a q̓ic̓əy (Katzie) First Nation member, is one of the medical staff.
  • See this First Nations A-Z listing for the names and spellings of First Nations communities in British Columbia.

Capitalization, punctuation and grammar

  • Capitalize ‘Indigenous Peoples,' ‘Elders,’ ‘Knowledge Keepers,’ ‘Chief,’ ‘Traditional Knowledge’ and ‘Truth and Reconciliation.’
  • Avoid using possessive terms, as this is patronizing and implies that Indigenous individuals are owned.
    • Do not use: ‘Fraser Health’s Indigenous communities;’ ‘Our Indigenous communities’
    • Instead use: ‘Indigenous Peoples in the Fraser Health region.’
  • Consult the Capitalization and formatting of Indigenous terms and Language and grammar resources for more information.

Indigenous Peoples vs Indigenous people

  • Use the plural “Indigenous Peoples” when referring to multiple distinct groups.
  • Use the singular “Indigenous people” to refer to a specific community or individual person.
    • Example: Adrian is one of the Indigenous people who joined the celebration.

Terminology

Resources

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