Capitalize nouns and adjectives referring to race, tribe, nationality and language:
Do not capitalize the word allophone, which refers to a person whose first language is neither English nor French and which is used with specific reference to Quebec.
The form of some words may vary depending on the meaning:
Capitalize the singular and plural forms of the nouns Status Indian, Registered Indian, Non-Status Indian and Treaty Indian, as well as the terms Aboriginal, Native and Indigenous when they refer to Aboriginal people in Canada.
The terms Aboriginals and Natives are not used as proper nouns. When Aboriginal, Indigenous and Native are used as adjectives, note the following noun forms:
For further information on the representation of Aboriginal (Native) peoples in written communications, see Chapter 14 Elimination of Stereotyping in Written Communications.
Be aware of the current self-identification preferences of racial and cultural groups in Canada:
Note that the term African American is gaining currency in the U.S.A.
Note also that the terms used to designate the Indigenous peoples of Canada have undergone considerable change in recent years. Although the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982, uses the term aboriginal peoples in the lower case, the words Aboriginal, Indigenous and Native have since come to be capitalized when used in the Canadian context. The terms currently preferred are the following:
© Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2017
TERMIUM Plus®, the Government of Canada's terminology and linguistic data bank
Writing tools – The Canadian Style
A product of the Translation Bureau