Aboriginal to Indigenous: Why the Change?

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Sport for Life Society - Victoria, B.C. – At Sport for Life we believe it is important that we all learn about the history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, and take lessons from our past into account when making decisions in the present day. This is best done by taking time to build relationships, learn about protocols and culture, and ask questions with an open heart and open mind. This is a crucial part of our journey to work together promoting physical literacy and quality sport on a global scale.

For the past six years we have teamed up with the Aboriginal Sport Circle to create resources, educational tools, and workshops to support Indigenous participation in sport and physical activity. In the past we’ve used the collective term Aboriginal, but the accepted terminology has since changed to Indigenous, so we’ve made the decision to update all of our resources and materials to reflect that when referencing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples as a collective.

The switch from Aboriginal to Indigenous terminology is a nationwide change that we’ve observed in other sport, recreation, and service organizations. Several Provincial / Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies (PTASBs) have also transitioned to using Indigenous, with each change following a regional decision. We’ve decided this is a good time to follow their lead.

Matthew Achtymichuk