The Vancouver school board is expected to ditch the term ‘Aboriginal’ in favour of ‘Indigenous’.
The board is likely to approve the switch in its meeting Monday (December 18).
The change has been endorsed by the school district’s education and student services committee, which includes members of the board.
A staff report considered by the committee in its December 6 meeting noted that ‘Indigenous’ is now more extensively used over ‘Aboriginal’ in post-secondary settings, and at provincial and federal government levels.
Parents in the district have also suggested using ‘Indigenous’ as an “appropriate cultural reference”.
According to minutes of the October 26, 2017 meeting of the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) the “term ‘aboriginal’ is highly disputed within the Indigenous community and is akin to ‘Indian’.”
“Both terms are blatantly disrespectful to all Indigenous peoples whether it is recognized or not,” the minutes stated.
According to the Vancouver DPAC, ‘Indigenous’ is a “far more respectful” word.
The word ‘Aboriginal’ is currently used in many of the board’s titles, documents, and communications.