Frequently Asked Questions

    Your questions, answered!

    What is the proper terminology...Indigenous, First Nations, Native? 

    Indigenous means of the land and can be used to describe Indigenous Peoples from all over the world. In Canada, Indigenous refers to 3 specific groups—First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.  

    While Indigenous is the collective terms for the original peoples of Canada, it is important to be as specific as possible given there are many First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities that representdifferent cultural teachings and languages. If there are Indigenous peoples in your community get to know them and learn about their Nations.  

    What is the TRC?

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was created through a legal settlement between Residential Schools Survivors, the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit representatives and the parties responsible for creation and operation of the schools: the federal government and the church bodies. 

    The TRC’s mandate was to inform all Canadians about what happened in residential schools. The TRC documented the truth of Survivors, their families, communities and anyone personally affected by the residential school experience. This included First Nations, Inuit and Métis former residential school students, their families, communities, the churches, former school employees, government officials and other Canadians. 

    The TRC concluded its mandate in 2015 and transferred its records to the safekeeping of National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR).

    For more information please visit: 

    What are the 94 Calls to Action? 

    In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made 94 Calls to Action. To engage with the 94 Calls to Action and to monitor progress, please visit:

    What is UNDRIP?

    Call to Action #48 asked for churches, faith groups and interfaith social justice groups in Canada to adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for reconciliation. This document that was adopted in September 2007, by the United Nations, establishes a framework of minimum stands for the survival, dignity and well-being of Indigenous Peoples of the world. To read more, please visit: 

    What is a land acknowledgement and why is it important? How can I appropriately acknowledge the land that I am on? 

    A land or territorial acknowledgement are statements that recognize the First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities who have lived on this land since time immemorial. They honour the strength and wisdom of the Indigenous Nations who have deep historical kinship to the land and are a way to show respect for Indigenous Nations. They can also be a learning opportunity as it provides the speaker and audience to learn about the history of the local community. To learn more about the Original Peoples of the land on which you currently reside, treaties and traditional languages, please visit:

    What is a treaty? 

    Treaties are agreements made between the Government of Canada, Indigenous nations and often provinces and territories that speak into the rights and responsibilities of each party. There are various types of treaties including Peace and Friendship Treaties, Numbered Treaties and Modern Treaties. The Government of Canada recognizes 70 historic treaties in Canada signed between 1701 and 1923.

    Why do the treaties matter today? 

    Treaties provide a framework for living together. They are a meaningful part of the past, present and future between Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Understanding the intent and spirit of Treaties matters to all of us. We are all Treaty people.

    What does "unceded territory" mean? 

    Unceded means that the land or territory was never legally ceded or given up to the Crown through a treaty or other agreement. 

    What is the Doctrine of Discovery? What does "Terra Nullius" mean? 

    The Doctrine of Discovery is a principle of international law dating back from the late 15th century. It has its roots in a series of papal bulls that specifically sanctioned and promoted the conquest, colonization and exploitation of non-Christian territories and peoples. The Doctrine of Discovery was based on the concept Terra Nullius, meaning “no man’s land.

    What does “sovereignty” mean? What does “self- determination" mean?

    Self-determination grants Indigenous Nations jurisdiction over their own lives, ensuring autonomy and legitimacy as sovereign nations.  

    What is Orange Shirt Day?

    September 30, is Orange Shirt Day, also recognized as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day brings awareness of the impact of Indian residential schools as we remember the children who never returned home and honour survivors, their families and communities.  To learn more about Orange Shirt Day, visit: 

    What is the Indian Act? 

    The Indian Act is a part of a long history of assimilation policies that intended to terminate the cultural, social, economic and political distinctiveness of Indigenous Peoples by absorbing them into mainstream Canadian life and value. It continues to be an active law through which the federal government administers Indian status, local First Nation governments and the management of reserve land and money.  

    What is the Reconciliation Proclamation? 

    In 1995, Elijah Harper gathered Indigenous Elders Chiefs, youth, politicians, church representatives and others for a time to listen, learn, talk and pray in Hull, Quebec. At the end of the assembly, delegates adopted a Reconciliation Proclamation and a statement of Principles and Priorities for a new relationship that centered on common values and objectives of those gathered. To hear the Reconciliation Proclamation, please watch this video:

    What commitments have The Salvation Army made in their journey of reconciliation? 

    On March 30, 2016, The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory joined an ecumenical response to Call to Action #48. Through this response The Salvation Army has agreed to use the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for reconciliation.  

    To learn more about The Salvation Army’s response to Call to Action #48, please read: 

    Does The Salvation Army have any days of recognition for reconciliation

    The Salvation Army is committed to recognizing and honouring Indigenous days. Our church calendar recognizes the first Sunday in June as Indigenous Day of Prayer and the last Sunday of September as Truth and Reconciliation Sunday. Check out the events section for more information! 

    What is the Celebration of Culture?

    The Celebration of Culture is an annual event hosted in partnership with Indigenous Pathways. The Celebration of Culture gathering is an opportunity for all nations to gather and learn from Indigenous Peoples as we walk the journey of reconciliation. To learn more or to register, please visit:

    I am new on the journey of reconciliation.Do you have any recommendations for steps moving forward

    1. Learn! Read Indigenous authors, attend Indigenous learning events and learn the local history of your community.
    2. Be Present! Attend local Indigenous events, such as a PowWow. Find ways to show up within the local Indigenous communities around you!

    I am a part of The Salvation Army and would like to have someone come to my ministry Unit to discuss Indenous Ministries. Who do I contact? 

    Please fill out the contact request form or email