The Canadian Race Relations Foundation maintains a glossary with definitions of key concepts relevant to race relations, the promotion of Canadian identity, belonging and the mutuality of citizenship rights and responsibilities.
Terms are organized in alphabetical order.
|Sins of Omission||In generic terms, the failure to speak out or act, thereby causing harm to individuals or groups by maintaining silence or lack of action. The term may also refer to the omission of minority groups from the media, educational or religious curricular materials and from cultural and political foci. The effects of “sins of omission” may be similar to the actual commission of blatantly hostile acts or even covert racist or sexist acts.|
|Social Justice||A concept premised upon the belief that each individual and group within society is to be given equal opportunity, fairness, civil liberties and participation in the social, educational, economic, institutional and moral freedoms and responsibilities valued by the society.|
|Stereotype||A preconceived over generalization of a group of people, ascribing the same characteristic(s) to all members of the group, regardless of their individual differences. An overgeneralization, in which the information or experience on Stereotyping may be based upon misconceptions, incomplete information and/or false generalizations about race, age, ethnic, linguistic, geographical or natural groups, religions, social, marital or family status, physical, developmental or mental attributes, gender or sexual orientation.|
|Systemic Discrimination||The institutionalization of discrimination through policies and practices which may appear neutral on the surface but which have an exclusionary impact on particular groups, such that various minority groups are discriminated against, intentionally or unintentionally. This occurs in institutions and organizations where the policies, practices and procedures (e.g. employment systems – job requirements, hiring practices, promotion procedures, etc.) exclude and/or act as barriers to racialized groups. Systemic discrimination may also result from some government laws and regulations.|
|Tolerance||Usually meant as a liberal attitude toward those whose race, religion, nationality, etc. is different from one’s own. Since it has the connotation of ‘put up with’, today the term acceptance is preferred. That is, through anti-racism and equity work we aim to counter intolerance, and to achieve acceptance for all.|
A negotiated agreement between a First Nation and the federal and provincial governments that spells out the rights of the First Nation with respect to lands and resources over a specified area. It may also define the self-government authority of a First Nation. The government of Canada and the courts understand treaties between the Crown and Aboriginal peoples to be solemn agreements that set out promises, obligations, and benefits for both parties.
Status Indians belonging to a First Nation/band whose ancestors signed a treaty with the Crown, and, as a result, are entitled to treaty benefits.
|Visible Minority||Term used to describe people who are not White. Although it is a legal term widely used in human rights legislation and various policies, currently the terms racialized minority or people of colour are preferred by people labelled as ‘visible minorities’.|
|White||A social colour. The term is used to refer to people belonging to the majority group in Canada. It is recognized that there are many different people who are “White” but who face discrimination because of their class, gender, ethnicity, religion, age, language, or geographical origin. Grouping these people as “White” is not to deny the very real forms of discrimination that people of certain ancestry, such as Italian, Portuguese, Jewish, Armenian, Greek, etc., face because of these factors.|
|Xenophobia||An unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers, their cultures and their customs.|