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Aboriginal Youth Identity Series: Sports and RecreationGlossaryBiographiesTid Bits Sports and Recreation
Sports and Recreation
Sports and Recreation



These are the descendents of the original inhabitants of North America. First Nations, Inuit and Métis people have unique heritages, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs. Aboriginal is also a term used in other parts of the world to refer to the first inhabitants of a given area.


A policy supported by the federal government in which the Aboriginal population was to accept the customs and attitudes of the prevailing European/western culture through a variety of processes.


People who are part of a larger group that shares similar interests and backgrounds including religion, language, and ancestry make up a community.


Culture includes the customs and shared beliefs, attitudes, values, goals, practices, social forms and material traits of a religious, racial or social group.


Characteristics or personality traits that distinguish an individual or group define identity.


This is an archaic term describing the Aboriginal People of Canada who are not Métis or Inuit. Three legal definitions refer to 'Indian' people in Canada-Status Indian, Non-Status Indian and Treaty Indian.

Indian Act

Federal legislation first developed in 1876. The Indian Act determines federal government obligations and regulations concerning Aboriginal People as well as regulating Indian reserve lands. The Indian Act has been amended a number of times, most recently in 1985.

Indigenous People

The original inhabitants of an area and their descendants are referred to as indigenous. Aboriginal people in Canada are considered indigenous to Canada.


Nationalism is an attitude of people who live in the same nation who often have common origins or cultural ties.

North American Indigenous Games (NAIG)

NAIG is a two-week celebration that demonstrates unity among Indigenous peoples from all regions and cultures across Canada and the United States through friendly competition in sport and cultural events and helps to promote the holistic concepts of physical, mental, emotional, and the spiritual growth of individuals.

Oral History

Information not recorded in written format, but instead passed down through generations using stories and legends.


The Potlatch is an organized meeting for important ceremonies that is practiced by Aboriginal groups on the West Coast of Canada. During the Potlatch ceremony, gifts are given to those who attend. The Potlatch is an important social, spiritual, and cultural event.

Pow Wow (powwow)

The word pow wow originates from the Algonkian word pau wau. It refers to a gathering that includes singing, dancing, and socializing. The pow wow event is also a way to remember heritage, culture, and traditions amongst Aboriginal people. The pow wow is practiced across North America.


Different kinds of activities that amuse, stimulate, develop abilities, or provide an avenue for social contact. Recreational activities are fun and enjoyable.


A form of activity that usually has certain rules, traditions, or customs attached to it.


Aboriginal groups on the prairies celebrate the Sundance Ceremony during the summer months. The purpose of the Sundance is for individuals to dedicate themselves to the Great Spirit through fasting and dancing during the four-day ceremony. The Sundance is a very sacred tradition amongst Aboriginal People on the prairies.

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