Capitalization and formatting of Indigenous terms

Capitalizing Indigenous terms is a sign of respect for the identities, governments, institutions and collective rights that have been historically considered illegitimate. We recognize that part of reconciliation is the recognition and respect of these terms.


  • Indigenous identities
  • Indigenous governmental, social, spiritual, and religious institutions
  • Indigenous collective rights

 Some examples of these terms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Aboriginal
  • Chief
  • Clan
  • Elder
  • First Nations
  • Grand Chief
  • Healers
  • Hereditary Chief
  • Indigenous
  • Inuk/Inuit
  • Knowledge Keepers
  • Matriarch
  • Métis
  • Nation
  • Oral Tradition
  • Sweatlodge
  • Status Indian (under the Indian Act)
  • Treaty 8 Rights

When mentioning a specific treaty the "T" is capitalized. Also, many people prefer to capitalize the "R" when referring to specific rights. Sometimes "Rights" might be observed with a lower case "r" because capitalizing it is not consistent with the Canadian Press (CP) style guide at this time.

Italics and quotation marks

Indigenous place names or terms from an Indigenous language should not be italicized or put in quotation marks.

Typography and BC Sans font

The standard font for B.C. government digital services and the Province’s content management system CMS Lite is BC Sans font. This font supports Indigenous languages in British Columbia. It was developed in 2019 in collaboration with a Kanienʼkehá꞉ka linguist and font expert and First Voices.