The Christian Peacemaker Aboriginal Justice Team has undergone a transition to a new team name, after much deliberation and discussion. Although the mandate and vision for the team remains the same, the name change represents an effort to maintain currency within Indigenous movements for self-determination, and the team feels Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team better captures the desired scope of its work. The team has floated this change past some of its Indigenous friends and partners who have welcomed it.
Still in popular use, the term âaboriginalâ refers to First Nations, MĂ©tis, and Inuit peoples. However, as Mohawk scholar Taiaike Alfred and Cherokee professor Jeff Corntassel (2005) indicate, while some Indigenous people have embraced this label, âthis identity is purely a state construction that is instrumental to the stateâs attempt to gradually subsume Indigenous existences into its own constitutional system and body politicâ (p. 598). In 2008, the Union of Ontario Indians and later Grand Council of Treaty #3 representing the Anishnaabek passed resolutions and launched a campaign to eliminate the inappropriate use of the term "aboriginal." To many, âaboriginalism is a legal, political and cultural discourse designed to serve an agenda of silent surrender to an inherently unjust relation at the root of the colonial state itselfâ (Alfred & Corntassel, p. 599). To the chagrin of many First Nations, in 2011 Canada's Conservative government changed the minister and department title responsible for âIndian Affairsâ to âAboriginal Affairs and Northern Development,â embodying this discursive tactic.