Building Vocabulary and Knowledge

Common Terminology Used in the Resource Hub

The language we use structures our thoughts and actions. The curriculum review is anchored in a number of key terms, including “equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI),” “decolonization,” “Indigenous knowledges and knowledge systems,” and “Black knowledges.” A brief glossary of these terms can be found in “Key Terminology” in the FAQ section. While these terms help to anchor our work, each one encompasses complex nuances and reflects diverse histories. They also have limitations, and critical debate about their usage, their effectiveness, and their scope is dynamic, ongoing, and sometimes fraught in both academic and community contexts. Having an understanding of the terminology that informs the areas of the curriculum review -- although these terms may vary depending on the context and in many cases can be sites of active debate -- is an important part of the process of creating and developing inclusive, respectful, and welcoming learning spaces. To further explore the contestations and limitations around terminology that relates to histories of privilege and oppression, please visit the “Terminology” section of the Working Circle report (pp.5-7).

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Additional Resources on Terminology

Related Resources

The dynamic between Cultural Appropriation and Cultural Appreciation is rooted in a power imbalance. In this video, hosted by CBC's Rosanna Deerchild,  the definition is explored through an Indigenous lens and examines how costuming at Halloween can become a form of cultural appropriation and also how cultural appreciation can be used to develop and strengthen commitments towards reconciliation. [Video length: 3:46] 

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Author Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story about the "danger of a single story" and how the implicit biases we hold can interfere with how we understand and relate to one another. "The single story," Adeche begins, "creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story." [Video length: 19:16]

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