aboriginal people or aboriginal: includes Métis, Inuit and First Nations, regardless of where they live in Canada and regardless of whether they are "registered" under the Indian Act of Canada.
assimilation: the social process of absorbing one cultural group into another.
catalyst: determinant or factor that provokes or speeds significant change or action.
community: a value shared by Aboriginal people. The spirit that holds a relatively healthy group of families together is embedded in community. For First Nations people, this strength is connected with living on the land that has been "home" for many, many generations. For its members, the healthier community offers physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual resources.
cultural activities: include Elders' teachings, storytelling and traditional knowledge; language programs;land-based activities; feasts and pow wows; learning traditional art forms; harvesting medicines; and drumming, singing and dancing.
culture: viewed as a dynamic, complex network of meanings enmeshed within historical, social, economic and political processes. Culture is a set of value systems that relate strongly to religious beliefs, kinship patterns, social arrangements, communication networks, including regulatory norms of person, familial and social conduct (Anderson and Reimer Kirkham, 1999).
elder: generally means someone who is considered exceptionally wise in the ways of their culture and spiritual teachings. They are recognized for their wisdom, their stability, their humour and their ability to know what is appropriate in a particular situation. The community looks to them for guidance and sound judgement. They are caring and are known to share the fruits of their labours and experience with others in the community.
extended family: a group of individuals associated by birth, marriage or close friendship who nurture and support one another.
healing: restoring physical, mental, social/emotional and spiritual balance to individuals, families, communities and nations.
historic trauma: is a cluster of traumatic events that operate as a causal factor in a variety of maladaptive social and behavioural patterns. Hidden collective memories of trauma, or a collective non-remembering, is passed from generation to generation, just as the maladaptive social and behavioural patterns that are symptoms of many social disorders. Or - is a cumulative emotional and psychological wounding across generations resulting from massive tragedies.
indian act: Canadian federal legislation, first passed in 1876, and amended several times since. It set out certain federal government obligations and regulates the management of Indian reserve lands, Indian moneys and other resources.
indigenous: or occurring naturally (in a country, region, etc.); native [to].
integration: means to bring together.
intergenerational impacts: the effects of sexual and physical abuse that were passed on to the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Aboriginal people who attended the Residential School System.
intergenerational survivors: means children, grandchildren or great grandchildren of Survivors. While they did not attend Residential Schools themselves, many suffered similarly at the hands of their ancestors, who passed on the abuses they suffered in the Residential School System.
lateral violence: the shaming, humiliating, damaging, belittling and sometimes violent behaviour directed toward a member of a group by other members of the same group (Middleton-Moz, 1999: 116). It is seen most often in oppressed groups who have been rendered helpless to fight back against a powerful oppressor and who eventually turn their anger against each other.
legacy of physical and sexual abuse in residential schools: ( often referred to as "Legacy") means the on-going direct and indirect effects of physical and sexual abuse at Residential Schools. This includes the effects on Survivors, their families, descendants and communities. These effects may include, and are not limited to, family violence, drug, alcohol and substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, loss of parenting skills and self-destructive behaviour.
michif: a mixture of French nouns and noun phrases tied to the Cree verb system, with additional Assiniboine and Ojibwe vocabulary.
post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd): is a psychological disorder that develops in some individuals who had major traumatic experiences, such as those who experienced serious accidents, survived or witnessed violent crimes or acts of wars. Symptoms can include emotional numbness at first, depression, excessive irritability, guilt for having survived others who were injured or died, recurrent nightmares, flashback to the traumatic scene, and overreactions to sudden noises.
recidivism: tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behaviour.
residential schools: the residential school system in Canada attended by Aboriginal students. This may include industrial schools, boarding schools, homes for students, hostels, billets, residential schools, residential schools with a majority of day students or a combination of any of the above.
royal commission on aboriginal peoples (rcap): The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was established in 1991 to examine the history of the relationship between Canada and Aboriginal Peoples, and to make recommendations for renewed relations. Four Aboriginal and three non-Aboriginal commissioners were appointed to investigate the issues and advise the government on their findings. Their findings were published in 1996 in the five-volume Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
segregation: means to keep apart (separated) from a larger collective (family, community, nation).
sovereignty: generally refers to a nation's autonomy (from other nations) and jurisdiction over territory and people.
spirituality: the experience or relationship with an empowering source of ultimate value, purpose and meaning of human life producing healing and hope, and is articulated in diverse beliefs and practices of individuals, families and communities.
survivor: means an Aboriginal person who attended and survived the Residential School System.
transmit culture: one generation of caregivers transmit culture to their children the behaviour patterns, actions, beliefs, institutions and all other products of human work and thought. The abilities of most Indigenous people to do this have been disrupted with serious negative consequences in some instances.
treaty: defines the relationship between two or more nations.