Glossary of Terms

Chinook Jargon

A trade language spoken across the Pacific Northwest that mixes Chinookan, Nuu-chah-nulth, English, French, and other European languages. It’s also known as Chinuk Wawa.


A recognition of the power imbalances and the harm of normalizing Western knowledge in education as the only way of knowing and all other knowledge systems and practices as lesser and invalid. Deconstructing colonial ideologies involves valuing and revitalizing Indigenous knowledges and approaches and questioning biases and assumptions.


A Kwaḱwala phrase that translates in several ways, depending on the context it is spoken in. It can mean a welcome or a greeting, a form of engagement, or to give thanks, because it translates to “Come, breathe of the same air.” See First Voices: Kwaḱwala Phrases.


A Kwaḱwala term meaning one who is allowed or has permission. The term reflects a researcher’s responsibility and ongoing role in Indigenous research. While it takes a person a lifetime to develop into this role, it is not done alone; there are helpers, guides, and teachers along the way. See First Voices: Kwaḱwala Phrases.


A relational and collaborative process that involves various levels of transformation, from inclusion and integration to infusion of Indigenous perspectives and approaches in education.

Indigenous worldviews

Worldviews based on a set of principles and practices that stretch back to when Indigenous Peoples were placed on the land. These manifest as stories, laws, protocols, practices, and agreements and provide a way to coexist in a holistic and sustainable way. These processes exist today, in spite of contact and colonial legacies.


A language spoken by Métis people, mixing words from French, Cree, and Dene.


Ways of interacting with Indigenous people in a manner that respects traditional ways of being. Protocols are unique to each Indigenous culture and are a representation of a deeply held ethical system and traditional ways of doing and relating.


A process that requires both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to identify, recognize, acknowledge, and accept their respective responsibilities to change relationships; build common understanding; and make genuine, long-lasting change to Canadian society.

Sacred teachings

Significant ways of being that are represented by sacred animals that hold special gifts to help people understand and maintain a connection to the land and to each other. The values embodied in the teachings and the stories reinforce an Indigenous mindset.


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Pulling Together: A Guide for Researchers, Hiłḵ̓ala Copyright © 2021 by Dianne Biin; Deborah Canada; John Chenoweth; and Lou-ann Neel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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