Writing Guide for Indigenous Content

This guide is to help writers create content that respects the cultural integrity of Indigenous Peoples. It reflects the goal of reconciliation through respect and recognition of Indigenous rights.

In October 2019, the government of British Columbia passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. This Act adopts and implements the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government is also committed to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.

This aims to build renewed government-to-government relationship with Indigenous Peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. It also aims to address the consequences of colonial policies which have had lasting effects on all Indigenous Peoples – First Nations, Métis and Inuit.


Creating content for or about Indigenous Peoples

Create content in a way that respects the cultural integrity of Indigenous Peoples.

Indigenous Peoples and names in B.C.

Use Indigenous names and spellings for Indigenous people.

 

Terminology

Choose terminology that respects the cultural integrity of Indigenous Peoples.

Language and grammar

Choose active language and avoid possessive terms and other harmful framing.

 

Capitalization and formatting of Indigenous terms

Learn when and how to use proper capitalization and formatting of Indigenous terms.

Cultural safety and Indigenous Gender-Based Analysis

Write collaboratively and use IGBA+ to inform your content.


Useful reference material

Creation and maintenance

This guide will grow and change over time through collective and inclusive efforts with the Creation and Review Committee.

As it will be maintained, this guide was created through a collaborative effort. In April 2020, the idea originated for an addition to the Web Style Guides to include information for and about Indigenous-related content. Indigenous public servants were approached to form a Creation and Review Committee for the guide. Outreach was also made via the Content and Design Advisory Working Group (CDAWG) to recruit interested writers to research guide materials, these writers formed the Research Committee.

If you have questions or comments, please e-mail WebStandards@gov.bc.ca.

Creation and Review Committee

  • Zoe Edgar-Wilson, Métis Nation
  • Nicole Evanoff, Métis Nation
  • Guuduniia La Boucan, Cree
  • Stephanie Papik, Paniguvluk, Inuk and Irish ancestry
  • Sarah Powell, Taku River Tlingit First Nation
  • Karen Tunkara (Lexixelwet), Songhees Nation and Swiss/Norwegian
  • Yuxwelupton Qwal'qaxala (Bradley Dick), Lekwungen, Ditidaht, Tzadsis Nugwame 

Research Committee

  • Lynda Hills, English and Irish
  • Christopher Matei, Croatian-Canadian
  • Sara Shields, Icelandic and Scottish
  • Rachelle Ann Tan, Filipino and Chinese
  • Karen Tunkara (Lexixelwet), Songhees Nation and Swiss/Norwegian