Social Justice Stories

building compassion, tolerance, and responsible citizenship through social justice narratives


A glossary of social justice terms, specifically as they pertain to the Kids' Power Series.

Aboriginal: A term outlined by the Constitution Act of 1982 to refer to all indigenous peoples of Canada, including First Nation, Métis, and Inuit. It is important to remember that as Fife (2008: 55) states, "These separate groups have unique heritages, languages, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs. Their common link is their indigenous ancestry.

AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a deadly infectious disease.

Apartheid: Deliberate discrimination based on race. It was used in South Africa to describe the legal system of denying citizens rights based on their skin colour. Some claim that apartheid was influenced by the Canadian Indian Act.

Assimilation: A government policy aimed to encourage Aboriginals to leave behind their traditional culture and become 'civilized.'

Blackfoot Confederacy: The five First Nations: the Kainai, the Piikani, the Siksika, the Nakoda, and the Tsuu T'ina.

Convention on the Rights of the Child: The United Nations, deciding that children needed special protection, declared that all children have basic human rights regardless of race, sex, religion, culture or any other status.

Dreamcatcher: A hanging willow hoop, on which a loose web is woven to catch bad dreams, which are then destroyed by the dawn.

International Children's Peace Prize: Awarded annually to a child who has dvoted a lot of his or her energy to improving the rights of children.

Mandate: An official command or order to do something.

Powwow: From the Algonkian word pau wau meaning "spiritual leader." It refers to a gathering of North America's Native people that includes singing, dancing, and socializing. The Powwow event is also a way to remember heritage, culture, and traditions among Aboriginal Peoples.

Strike: A form of protest in which people refuse to work in order to gain a concession or until their demands are met.

Sweatlodge: A structure heated by pouring water over hot stones to purify occupants by making them sweat.

United Nations: A collection of countries working together for peace. It was founded in 1945 after World War II to avoid wars between countries.