First Nations Glossary
Aboriginal Education and Native Studies Resources from David Spencer's Education Paragon
- Connect with Aboriginal elders and educators and join Native Education Association of Ontario Circle (NEAO Circle) formerly The Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) e-newsletter. The NEAO Circle is a professional learning and sharing network of educators, teachers, college instructors, university professors, Aboriginal elders and leaders. Through e-mail, they share First Nation, Metis and Inuit and native studies resources, curriculum and teaching strategies that will help Canadian teachers integrate school curriculum with current cultural, environmental and historical contributions of our Canadian First Nations, Inuit and Metis brothers and sisters.
- Join the Native Education Association of Ontario and NEAO Circle on Facebook.
- See photos and read about past gatherings of The Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle).
- Join the First Nation, Metis & Inuit Education Association of Ontario (FNMIEAO) the Ontario Ministry of Education recognized provincial subject association for teachers and educators of First Nation, Metis & Inuit Studies and Native Languages. From 2011 to May 2014, this subject association was previously called the Native Education Association of Ontario (NEAO). Special thanks to Marg Boyle for her three years of leadership, encouragement and support.
- The shortcut to this page is http://aboriginal.davidspencer.ca.
First Nations Glossary
The following are terms that have been used for First Nations in Canada over the years.
Algonkin or Algonquin
Algonkin or Algonquin occupied southeastern Ontario and western Quebec around the Ottawa River at contact. Such groups as the Kichesipirini, Matouweskarini, Petite Nation and Weskarini were Algonkin speaking. The only Algonkin reserve in Ontario today is Golden Lake near the eastern boundary of Algonquin Park. Source: Innisfil Public Library, Innisfil, Ontario
Algonkian or Algonquian
Algonkian or Algonquian is the name of a family of languages that includes Ojibwa, Odawa, Potawatomi, Cree, Montagnais, Micmac, Algonkin and many others. It is, in fact, one of the largest language groups geographically and demographically in aboriginal North America.
The different spellings of Algonkian and Algonquian is likely the difference between English and French lexicography, the latter representing French, the former English. Source: Innisfil Public Library, Innisfil, Ontario
Anishnabe has been translated as "original man" or "the people". It has become the preferred appellation of Ojibwa speaking peoples in Ontario. Although it is not a new word, it has come into popular use recently. Anthropologists and other professionals have given us most of our labels for people outside of the mainstream. This practice is only now starting to change. Source: Innisfil Public Library, Innisfil, Ontario
Chippewa is a common name applied interchangeably with Ojibwa or, in Southern Ontario, in opposition to "Mississauga". The use of Chippewa is generally preferred to that of Ojibwa in the United States. Chippewa and Ojibwa are actually the same word rendered differently. Source: Innisfil Public Library, Innisfil, Ontario
Mississauga refers to a particular Ojibwa speaking group originating around the mouth of the Mississagi River that flows into the North Channel of Lake Huron.
The Mississauga were, no doubt, prominent among those who migrated into Southern Ontario. The name has sometimes been applied to all the Ojibwa speaking peoples of Southern Ontario but is also used to distinguish certain groups from those who prefer the name Chippewa.
It is not know whether the distinction between Chippewa and Mississauga has any basis in the origins of the people who came to Southern Ontario or whether it is merely a matter of preference. Source: Innisfil Public Library, Innisfil, Ontario
Ojibwa is the common language of the Chippewa, Mississauga, Saulteaux, etc. Alternative spellings have been "Ojibway" or, even, "Ojibwey". Ojibwa originally referred to one of the many groups of hunter-gatherers in the Upper Great Lakes; it has come to be applied to all who speak a common Algonkian language (Ojibwa). Source: Innisfil Public Library, Innisfil, Ontario