IRCC Anti-Racism Strategy 2.0 (2021-2024) – Glossary

Ally
A person who recognizes their own privilege, commits to learning about the challenges of a person or a group of people experiencing discrimination, and works in solidarity with them to fight against oppression. An ally does not seek acknowledgement or call themselves an ally. Rather, their involvement and commitment are recognized by members of the group they have allied with.
Anti-Racism
The conscious opposition to racist theories, attitudes and actions. Anti-racism is not just about being against the idea of racism. It is also about taking active steps to fight against it.
Bias
An unconscious or mistaken predisposition, prejudice or generalization about a group of persons based on personal characteristics or stereotypes. Bias could be directed against individuals or groups; it could also be the result of cumulative processes emerging as a consequence of unintentional actions.
Colonialism
A practice of domination involving the subjugation of one people by another. Settler colonialism, such as the case of Canada, is a process whereby the colonizing population does not leave the territory, asserts ongoing sovereignty over the land, and actively seeks to assimilate Indigenous populations and extinguish their cultures, traditions and ties to the land.
Decolonization
A process that consists of challenging and dismantling colonial ideas, values and practices embedded in society in order to restore Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. Decolonization aims to shift the way Indigenous People view themselves and the way non-Indigenous People view Indigenous People.
Disaggregated Data
Data broken down by individual’s attributes, enabling better understanding of the experiences and outcomes of specific population groups and intersecting identity factors. In the context of race-based data, this means breaking down composite (aggregate) categories such as “visible minority” status or racialized groups into component parts (e.g. Black, Chinese, Arab), and analyzing outcomes in intersection with other attributes (e.g. age, disability status, education, class, immigrant status, language, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex and sexual orientation).
Discrimination
The unjust or prejudicial treatment of a person or group of people that deprives them of or limits their access to opportunities and advantages that are available to other members of society because of their race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, or disability.
Equality
The principle of treating everyone in the same manner by ensuring they have access to the same resources and opportunities. Equality does not necessarily lead to fair outcomes since it does not consider people's unique experiences and differing situations.
Equity
The principle of considering people's unique experiences and differing situations, and ensuring they have access to the resources and opportunities that are necessary for them to attain just outcomes. Equity aims to create a level playing field by eliminating disparities and disproportions that are rooted in historical and contemporary injustices and oppression.
Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus)
An analytical process for the assessment of systemic inequities, as well as a means to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender diverse people may experience policies and programs. The ‘plus’ in GBA Plus acknowledges that multiple identity factors, not only sex and gender, intersect and contribute to who we are. These factors include race, ethnicity, religion, immigrant status, age, mental or physical disability. Using GBA Plus to advance gender equality and considering all intersecting identity factors is a Government of Canada commitment.
Institutional or Systemic Racism
Consists of patterns of behaviour, policies or practices that are part of the social or administrative structures of an organization, and which create or perpetuate a position of relative disadvantage for racialized persons. Systemic racism could be a feature of organizations or could be present in all aspects of society such employment, education or health services. These are not necessarily put in place intentionally. They appear neutral on the surface but, nevertheless, have an exclusionary impact on racialized persons, often with differential discrimination impacts emerging from the intersections of other identity factors.
Intersectionality
The way in which people’s lives are shaped by their multiple and overlapping identities and social locations such as race, ethnicity, class, disability status, sexual orientation and gender, which, together, can produce a unique and distinct experience for that individual or group, for example, creating additional barriers, opportunities, and/or power imbalances.
Minority
A group of people who share characteristics differing from those of the majority or dominant population, and who often experience discrimination or exclusion. The term “minority” is not universally accepted because it is usually understood as limiting the concept to numbers, when it is in fact more often about the power that is held by a dominant group.
Race
Race is a socially-constructed identity based on geographic, historical, political, economic, social and cultural factors, as well as physical traits, even though none of these can legitimately be used to classify groups of people. Race is a social identity construct that is attributed a meaning of “natural” or “biological” category in a social/economic context.
Racial Equity
refers to the systemic fair treatment of all people, regardless of racialized identification, that results in equitable opportunities and outcomes for everyone. Racial equity, in IRCC’s context, includes the process of meaningfully engaging racialized groups to achieve equitable outcomes in policies and program designs, service delivery and employment practices.
Racialized
refers to a person or group of people categorized according to ethnic or racial characteristics and subjected to discrimination on that basis.
Racism
Any individual action or institutional practice which causes prejudice, hostility, discrimination and/or violence, consciously or unconsciously, against persons of a specific race or ethnic group.
Visible Minority
A group of people who have identifiable characteristics that differ from those of the majority or dominant population. Although the term “visible minority” is used in legal (e.g. Employment Equity Act) and statistical (e.g. Census) contexts, it is considered outdated and no longer recommended because the word “visible” suggests being white is the standard, and the word “minority” limits the concept to numbers. The term is increasingly being replaced by “racialized” individuals or groups.
White Privilege
Benefitting from unearned power, advantages, access and/or opportunities based on being white or being perceived as white. White people are defined as belonging to any of the various peoples with light-coloured skin, usually of European origin. The term has become an indicator less of skin colour and more of an unquestioning acceptance of the legacies and ongoing practices of white supremacy and colonialism.
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