Do we say first nations or indigenous in australia?

When used in Australia, it is best to capitalize the words “indigenous”, “aboriginal” and “Torres Strait Islander”, as you would with any group of people, and avoid using acronyms such as ATSI or TSI. If you refer to indigenous peoples in general from all over the world, then “indigenous” is written in lower case. More than 370 million people in 70 countries around the world identify themselves as indigenous. They belong to more than 5000 different groups and speak more than 4000 languages.

Indigenous people in Australia continue to protest relentlessly and push for things to change, including every day on January 26th, Australia Day. In 1938, while most Australians were celebrating, they declared it a Day of Mourning to commemorate 150 years of colonization. This term is rarely used in respectful conversation and we recommend that it not be used unless there is a specific reason for doing so, such as in the name of an organization that derives from a previous period (for example, people with indigenous descent may use the term to refer to themselves or other indigenous peoples). Indigenous Australians, or First Australian Nations, are people with family heritage and members of ethnic groups that lived in Australia before British colonization.

Reconciliation between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians became a major issue in Australian politics in the late 20th century. In the 19th century, smallpox was the leading cause of death for Aboriginal people, and vaccinations for native inhabitants began to be seriously vaccinated in the 1840s. Unlike other parts of the former British Empire, such as the Waitangi Treaty in New Zealand, no treaty has ever been concluded between indigenous Australians and an Australian government. The indigenous population before European settlement was scarce, with estimates ranging from 318 000 to 1 million in total, and the distribution was similar to that of the current Australian population, most of whom live in the south-east, centered along the Murray River.

Many Aboriginal people in Canada do not have this formal connection, and mixed-race or Inuit people should never be called “First Nations”. Because there are more than 50 different indigenous nations in Canada, living in more than 600 communities, it can be difficult to find a single word that covers everything. It is broad, on the one hand, because it includes all Canadian groups, but specific, on the other, since it is not widely used in international contexts. In conclusion, working with experts in indigenous issues can help to avoid any misunderstanding related to terminology and ensure a fluid, adapted and sensitive approach that promotes reliable and mutually beneficial relationships.

For informal documents, use “First Nation” or, collectively, when referring to reservation-based communities, “First Nations”, but in specific references, it is more preferred to use the name that the community (or First Nation) uses publicly. For example, the word “government” is fraught with negative connotations due to past (and fairly recent) policies that traumatized First Nations people. Of course, there are some exceptions, such as communities that still have the official name “Indian band” and there are people who still use the word “Indian” with each other, but the term has colonial connotations for many indigenous peoples in Canada. The first indigenous Australian to hold the position of minister in any government was Ernie Bridge, who joined the Western Australian Parliament in 1980.

Australian cinema has a long history, and Aboriginal Australian ceremonies were among the first subjects to be shot in Australia. In particular, a film about Aboriginal dancers from Central Australia, filmed by anthropologist Baldwin Spencer and F. Writing respectfully about First Nations issues can be a minefield. There are a lot of words that can offend.

Mestizos are a specific indigenous (and aboriginal) group in Canada with a very specific social history. .

Dominic Bélanger
Dominic Bélanger

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