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Aboriginal Youth Identity Series: LeadershipGlossaryBiographiesTid Bits Leadership



Aboriginal refers to a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants.


The Cayuga nation is also known as “people of the great swamp.” The Cayuga were one of the five original nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Today, there are three Cayuga bands.


A large group comprised of smaller groups known as Nations. An example is the Blackfoot Confederacy, in which the Tsuu T’ina, Piikani, and Siksika are all independent nations.


General agreement to an idea or action; no one opposed.


In Aboriginal communities "Elder" has many meanings. It can mean a person who is older and is known as a spiritual and cultural leader, and who has the knowledge of traditions.

First Nation

A name Aboriginal People gave themselves that refers to them as the original inhabitants of Canada.


A hero is an individual who is idealized or admired for superior qualities, deeds, or actions of any kind. Words that may describe a hero are: determination, courage, honour, and excellence.

Iroquois Confederacy

Also known as Haudenosaunee, the Confederacy is a group of First Nations and Native Americans. The Confederacy consists of six Aboriginal groups: Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Tuscarora. The Iroquois Confederacy is also known for being one of the first democratic societies in North America.

Long House

The type of traditional homes in which the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy lived. A long house is a long, narrow, single room building in which many people lived together.


Property, inheritance, and family lineage are passed down through the mother’s side of the family.


Métis means a person who self-identifies as Métis, is of historic Métis Nation ancestry, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples and is accepted by the Métis Nation.


The Mohawk nation was part of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mohawk are also known as “people of the flint.”


One of the largest nations of the Iroquois Confederacy had the name Seneca also means “people of the hill top.”


The Onondagas are also known as ‘people of the hills’ and are one of the original five tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy. Their traditional homeland is in and around Onondaga County, New York. Historically, this was the central meeting place for members of the Confederacy and is a tradition maintained today.


The Oneida are members of the Iroquois Confederacy. Their name means “people of the upright stone.” They reside in Ontario and regions in the United States.

Role Model

A role model is someone who sets an example for our behaviour.

Talking Circle

People sit in a circle formation to share information and ideas. Each person in the circle is given an opportunity to share something while everyone else listens respectfully. The talking circle is to develop consensus amongst the members of the group.


The Tuscarora were the last Aboriginal nation to join the Iroquois Confederacy. Their name means “shirt-wearing people.”

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