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The terms People(s) of Colour (POC) and Black, Indigenous, and People(s) of Colour (BIPOC) have become popular in activist and academic writing. These terms allow for collective activism and recognition that, while differences clearly exist, living in a culture of white supremacy impacts all folx of colour.
However, some writers are now articulating concerns about the term People(s) of Colour, because it can conflate issues across all people who are not white. As a result, it can erase important differences in the historical and contemporary experiences of the peoples identified with that label, including Black and Indigenous peoples.
Steps for inclusive writing about Peoples of Colour, and/or Black, and/or Indigenous Peoples
For more resources and examples:
- Radical Copyeditor’s blog post: Black with a Capital “B”
- “Black is the New Black” –- article in The Bulletin
- Christi Belcourt’s article: Reclaiming Ourselves by Name
- Dr. Gregory Younging’s Elements of Indigenous Style (2018) provides clear and thorough explanations for 22 principles for writing “by and about Indigenous Peoples.” These include principles related to inappropriate terminology, the names of Indigenous Peoples, inappropriate possessives, compensation, and Indigenous language translation. It is an indispensable resource for anyone doing research or writing related to Indigenous issues.
- Quick Guide: Editing and Reviewing Indigenous Research and Writing (infographic) by Geoffry Boyd and Vanessa Welz
- Four Feather's Writing Guide: Coast Salish teachings and approaches to learning to support Indigenous students to develop as academic writers (Royal Roads Unviersity)
- SFU Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre Guide to Indigenous Terminology
- SFU Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre Guide to Finding Indigenous authors/Knowledge Keepers/Elders as sources for research
You can download the complete Inclusive and Antiracist Writing Guide, with expanded explanations, on the Overview Page.
 Many Indigenous Peoples prefer the term Indigenous to other terms like Indian, Aboriginal, or Native; however, the terms Aboriginal, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis are all currently used in Canadian law.
 Using terms like People(s) of Colour can also be a way of being unspecific, especially when writing about an individual, a particular culture or Nation.