I use the word Aboriginal as an inclusive and encompassing word to describe people of indigenous backgrounds in Canada. I know it can be sometimes challenging to utilize a term to describe one’s ethnic and cultural background considering that people are so diverse.
I sometimes think how best to describe myself. My father is Cree and Anishinabe and I am treaty to his reserve Peepeekisis in Saskatchewan my father’s father Herbert Brass was status Indian however his wife my grandmother Sarah Lucier was Métis (Cree, French).
Then on my mother’s side her mother Ruby Starlight was a status Indian from Tsuu T’ina Nation however she married a Métis (Cree, Scottish) my grandfather Samuel Fraser and lost her rights as an Indian because of that marriage.
So when people ask what my background is and where I am from it’s hard to say. I am status Indian of Tsuu T’ina, Cree and Anishinabe heritage with a proud Métis heritage as well. Some may call this a mutt but I prefer to call myself a plains hybrid a mix of all the best that makes me who I am.
There are many names one can have or be given. Some of mine include Josh, Joshua, Joshua Samuel Hebert Fraser and Sitting with Northwind. Many First Nations words to describe the name of their tribe or nation include “person, people, the people, and humans.” Some people prefer to be identified by their First Nation group such as Blackfoot, Cree, Stoney, Dene and such. Others prefer to be described by their individual tribe or nation such as Siksika, Kehewin, Samson Cree Nation and Tsuu T’ina.
The Oxford online dictionary describes the word aboriginal as “inhabiting or existing in a land from the earliest times or from before the arrival of colonists; indigenous”. Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution recognizes three Aboriginal groups of Canada being First Nation, Métis and Inuit.
I use the word Aboriginal for the Aboriginal Circle as an inclusive word to describe indigenous people as I know we are as diverse and different as the leaves that can fall on the ground. However I respect and acknowledge the various ways we can describe ourselves as people.
The Circle –
The Circle is a powerful and familiar image for Aboriginal people throughout Canada. It means many things for many people and everyone and every group has its own interpretation of the Circle. The shape, color and movement of the circle can have many meanings and representations.
For the Aboriginal Circle we use the circle as a symbol of communication, community and change. It represents the contributions, thoughts, dreams and actions of Aboriginal groups and individuals.
The Aboriginal Circle –
We created the Aboriginal circle as an online venue for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people to share information and celebrate our contributions and the empowerment of our people and communities.
The Aboriginal Circle is an online community where Aboriginal people from all walks of lives, all ages and backgrounds can congregate and create awareness of what they are doing. We aspire to create a platform in which people can inform, create and inspire innovative ideas…
I hope you will join us!