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Unformatted text preview: ers and is now rarely used in Canada. It is
derived from an Algonquin term meaning "raw meat eaters," and many people find the term offensive. The
term is still frequently used in the United States in reference to Inuit in Alaska. First Nation(s)
A term that came into common usage in the 1970s to replace the word "Indian," which some people found
offensive. Although the term First Nation is widely used, no legal definition of it exists. Among its uses, the
term "First Nations peoples" refers to the Indian peoples in Canada, both Status and Non-Status. Some
Indian peoples have also adopted the term "First Nation" to replace the word "band" in the name of their
community. • First Nation
"First Nation" has been adopted by some Indian communities to replace the term "Indian band." A
band is defined as a body of Indians for whose collective use and benefit lands have been set
apart or money is held by the Crown, or declared to be a band for the purposes of the Indian Act.
Many Indian bands started to replace the word "band" in their name with "First Nation" in the
1980s. It is a matter of preference, and writers should follow the choice expressed by individual
First Nations/bands. Suggested usage:
Capitalize. The Department capitalizes "First Nation" as it would other designations like "Francophone,"
"Arabic" or "Nordic."
Use as a noun and a modifier. The term "First Nation" is acceptable as both. When using the term as a
modifier, the question becomes whether to use "First Nation" or "First Nations." Note the different uses in
the following examples.
(plural modifier, plural noun)
U The number of First Nations students enrolled at Canadian universities and colleges has soared over
the past twenty years.
(singular modifier, plural noun)
UThe association assists female First Nation entrepreneurs interested in starting home businesses.
(plural modifier, singular noun)
U Containing recipes from across the country, the First Nations cookbook became an instant hit at church
(singular modifier, singular noun)
U Many people have said that North of 60 and The Rez were the only shows on television that depicted
life in a First Nation community with any realism.
There is no clear right or wrong in this area, provided that writers are consistent about the way they
choose to use modifiers. • First Nations people
Many people today prefer to be called "First Nations" or "First Nations people" instead of "Indians."
Generally, "First Nations people" is used to describe both Status and Non-Status Indians. The
term is rarely used as a synonym for "Aboriginal peoples" because it usually doesn't include Inuit
or Métis people. • Because the term "First Nations people" generally applies to both Status and Non-Status Indians,
writers should take care in using this term. If they are describ...
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- Fall '14