Definitions of Equity‑Deserving Groups


Indigenous Persons

Indigenous/Aboriginal persons include those who are First Nations (Status, non-Status, Treaty), Métis, Inuit, Native or North American Indian (including North and Central America and the Caribbean).


Mi’kmaq are the predominant Indigenous peoples in the Atlantic Provinces including Nova Scotia. They are the original inhabitants of this land.  

Visit the Dalhousie Indigenous Strategy [PDF] for more information.

Racialized Persons

Racialized persons are people (other than Aboriginal/Indigenous persons) who are non-white, regardless of their place of birth or citizenship. (Sometimes referred to as “racially visible” or “visible minority”)

Examples of racial/ethnic groups:

  • Person of African ancestry (Black)
  • African Nova Scotian
  • Person of European ancestry (white)
  • East Asian (e.g., Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean)
  • South Asian (e.g., Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Sri Lankan)
  • South-East Asian (e.g., Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Malaysian, Filipino/a)
  • Non-white West Asian or Arab (e.g., Iranian, Afghani, Lebanese, Egyptian, Iraqi, Armenian, Israeli.)
  • Non-white Latin, South, Central American or Caribbean
  • Multiracial 

Persons of Black/African Descent

Persons of African descent and/or those who identity as part of the African diaspora, the collection of African-descent communities spread throughout North and South America. In the United States the term African-American is used, in Canada Black-Canadian or African-Canadian is often used. 

African Nova Scotians

African Nova Scotians are a distinct people who descend from free and enslaved Black planters, Black loyalists, Black refugees, Maroons and other Black people who inhabited the original 52 land-based Black communities in that part of Mi’kma’ki known as Nova Scotia. 

Please see the African Nova Scotian Strategy for more information.

Persons with Disabilities

Persons with disabilities are people who have a chronic, long-term or recurring physical, sensory, mental, learning or intellectual impairment, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders that person’s full and effective participation in society. This includes, but isn’t limited to, people whose functional limitations due to their impairment have been accommodated in their workplace (ex: by the use of technical aids, changes to equipment or other working arrangements).

Examples of groups of persons with a disability:

  • Coordination/dexterity (e.g. cerebral palsy)
  • Blind/visual impairment
  • Speech Impairment
  • Non-visible physical impairment (e.g. hemophilia)
  • Developmental/mental impairment (e.g. Down’s Syndrome)
  • Mobility impairment (e.g. need to use a wheelchair)
  • Learning disability (e.g. dyslexia)
  • Deaf/hearing impairment
  • Psychiatric impairment (e.g. severe depression)


Persons self-identifying as women. 


Is an acronym for Two-Spirit (2S), lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, with the “+” representing the diversity of ways people choose to self-identify their gender identity and sexual orientation. The placement of Two-Spirit (2S) first is to recognize that Indigenous people are the first peoples of this land and their understanding of gender and sexuality precedes colonization.