Glossary of Terms

Termsort iconDefinition
First Nation

First Nation(s) is a term for the Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are not Inuit or Métis people. "First Nations" is a legally undefined term that came into common usage in Canada during the 1980s to replace the term "Indian band".


This is an outdated term for Nuučaan̓uɫ (Nuu-chah-nulth) that some Nuučaan̓uɫ people consider derogatory. It was officially replaced by the current name Nuučaan̓uɫ (meaning “all along the mountains") in 1978. The name “Nootka” is likely from Captain Cook’s first encountered the villagers at Yuquot in 1778. Villagers may have directed him to "come around" (“nuutkaa” is "to circle around") with his ship to their harbour. Cook interpreted this as the name of the people and it became widely used in English for the next 200 years.

sleeping language

A sleeping language is a language which currently has no fluent speakers. Sleeping First Nations languages of British Columbia include Lhéchelesem, Nicola, Pəntl’áč, and Wetalh.