Circle the wagons translates to “the savages are coming and we are about to be attacked”. In Canada, the term is ". " “Gypped.”. Have you ever done it yourself? Many people in response have said “But I use this phrase in the highest respect for a beautiful time of the year.” Remember that it may not be your intention to offend anyone but the phrase has a history and by using this term you may have a negative impact on the people with whom you are trying to work. Happy reading! Let’s just choose a different word, ok? Phrases and questions such as those above also maintain stereotypical imagery and cultural insensitivity in that these expressions sweep all Indigenous Peoples into one homogeneous group which denies the reality of cultural diversity. When most Americans think about American Indians in November, it's probably as part of Thanksgiving pageantry: the Wampanoags who gave the hapless Pilgrims food during their first winter at Plymouth and taught them how to grow corn the following spring, the ninety Indians who attended the "first Thanksgiving" feast in 1621. The Debunker: What Color Were Oompa-Loompas, Originally? [3] Please see Humour article referenced in #4 “Too many chiefs, not enough Indians”, Again, the inference can be that all Indians are late and that an Indian summer is a late summer. Totem poles are very sacred items to the people who carve and display them. We did some research on its background and how it came to be so ingrained in the vernacular of North Americans. He tells a story about a meeting he attended in the course of his consulting work with a large organization. Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., provides information on this blog for free as a resource for those seeking information about Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Join the conversation over on our Linkedin page. The Debunker: Where Does the Word "Kangaroo" Come From? which is why we think this expression must have originated in the USA. Why Answer? There's a long tradition of decorative house posts among Pacific tribes, but the craft of totem pole carving reached its apex in the 19th century, when the poles were status symbols for wealthy Native families. Eskimo: comes from the same Danish word borrowed from Algonquin, “ashkimeq,” which literally means “eaters of raw meat.” Either way, when we refer to an entire group of people by their perceived behaviors, we trivialize their existence and culture. A "low man on the totem pole" is a person of no status or power, someone at the bottom of a hierarchy. The Debunker: Will Sharks Die If They Stop Swimming? Many companies are encouraging developers to use “blocklist” and “allowlist” instead. I respectfully disagree - it has lots of culture - Indigenous, English and French culture. with a short video clip of mine regarding Christopher Columbus and his “discovery” of America. The term dates back to the vaudeville era of the late 19th century and referred to the sections of the theater where Black people typically sat. Figures carved on totem poles represent familial legends, clan lineages or notable events. Many First Nations organizations hold them on a regular basis. "A commitment to change will also call upon Canadians to realize that reconciliation is not a new opportunity to convince aboriginal people to "get over it" and become like "everyone else." All Rights Reserved. Hollywood movies about settlers in North America moving west to invade and inhabit the traditional territories of First Peoples contributed greatly to the formation of this phrase. Cakewalk: It’s what we call an easy victory, or something that’s easily accomplished. It's never too late to set the record straight! In this article we have a selection of phrases and questions that should avoided - whether in company of Indigenous individuals or not. Master/slave: Tech engineers use these terms to describe components of software and hardware in which one process or device controls another. - See more at: http://www.yorktonthisweek.com/opinion/columnists/apology-for-schools-in-schools-1.1522938#sthash.eoyLH2F2.dpuf, Use these culturally offensive phrases, questions at your own risk, There is still a widely held perception that the Americas were essentially empty when Columbus arrived in 1492 to “discover” the New World. This is a very common phrase in the corporate world. In promoting and supporting Indigenous awareness, cultural competency, and mutual respect, it is our goal with this blog to provide a reliable resource for people seeking information. Low man on the totem pole/climbing the totem poleTotem poles are very sacred items to the people who carve and display them. Subscribe to our monthly Indigenous Relations Bulletin. It probably dates back to the USA experience where they really did to forcibly keep Native Americans on reservations. We have hundreds of articles loaded with tips, suggestions, videos, and free eBooks for you. In the photo and film casting industry the use of the term “casting sauvage” for  street casting is being called into question as racist. It's the same as saying someone is "low on the pecking order" (a poultry analogy) or "the lowest rung of the ladder" (a, well, ladder analogy). Figures carved on totem poles represent familial legends, clan lineages or notable events. Seems to come from cheesy westerns and sports fight songs. As it was, that moment became a long-running joke around the multi-party table, with the Indigenous representatives taking every opportunity to remind him of the “Indian chief surplus problem”. He tells a story about a meeting he attended in the course of his consulting work with a large organization. If you are looking for a culturally rich environment, just look at BC - over 200 diverse communities, each with their own language, origin stories,oral histories, culture and traditions. The modern version of the Washington Redskins’ fight song includes the line "Braves on the war path!". Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples®, Indigenous Employment: Recruitment & Retention, Working with the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples® Blog, Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.2300-2850 Shaughnessy StreetPort Coquitlam, BCV3C 6K5, "A commitment to change will also call upon Canadians to realize that reconciliation is not a new opportunity to convince aboriginal people to "get over it" and become like "everyone else," said Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as public hearings wrapped up in Edmonton recently. It seems to me that we have too many chiefs and not enough Indians.”. Language not only expresses ideas and concepts, but actually shapes thought. Here are a few to get you started: Blacklist/whitelist: In tech, a blacklist refers to a directory of specific elements, such as email addresses, IP addresses or URLs, that are blocked. Let this blog be your guide to Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples®. Find out more on how we use cookies and how you can change your settings. The residential school system broke up the family unit and destroyed cultures - the cumulative effects are multi-generational and are evidenced in the education and poverty gap, the high rate of suicide and the high rate of incarceration. Our friend then said “We have a problem. Seems to come from cheesy westerns and sports fight songs. Be sure to do some research and start using the proper terms, like Inuit. The Debunker: Is It Bad to Be the "Low Man on the Totem Pole"? The Debunker: What Did Ralph Waldo Emerson Recommend You Invent? [4]. Not all communities would have described it as such. Why can’t you [people] get over it?This is generally in response to discussions about residential schools, the apology from Prime Minister Harper and settlements for survivors of residential schools. Master bedrooms/bathrooms: While it’s unclear whether the term is rooted in American slavery on plantations, it evokes that history. Self-identification - Why ask? Using this phrase to refer to a quick business meeting denigrates the long, cultural significance of the pow wow. Hollywood movies about settlers in North America moving west to invade and inhabit the traditional territories of First Peoples contributed greatly to the formation of this phrase.