Why we do not use the word “tribe” (Ottawa)

If you are new to the blog, or November Project, it may be because you heard about it through word of mouth, or social media, saw a random post, have been encouraged to give it a try. Depending on who you are talking to, you may get to hear about someone’s individual experience. We don’t always know if this is a positive one or a negative one. Sometimes we don’t ever get to learn from the people who may have had a negative experience because they make the decision, rightly so, not to show up again, and nothing really changes. Sometimes, we are lucky to get to share discussions with some people who truly love the community, and want to see it grow, develop and change. It is important that we are open to those conversations, and in sharing transparently with you in the community, as you make up the heart of who we are at November Project Ottawa. 

One thing that we adopted, along with the rest of the global NP community is to stop referring to the cities as “tribes”, as was initially used at the beginning of NP’s history. That was formally announced that November Project HQ would not be using the word “tribe” as a way to identify the cities. This is because of the diversity of cities around the world and each relationship with the history of the word tribe. One thing we didn’t do was a good enough job of communicating this with the city and all of you. We assumed by removing it from our own language, we wrongly thought that would be enough. 

For some context, we want to share what has been established as NP’s community agreements, here. As we aim to be inclusive we encourage you to look into the history of the word “tribe” to make the decision for yourself about how you want to describe this community. 

We invite you into the discussions that allow NP to adapt and learn. Our language reflects our inclusivity. What was previously described as “tribe” represented a togetherness, a connection, a group of people where you belong, and come as you are. But there are a lot of ways to describe this. What does being part of this community mean to you? And how would you describe this? Do you prefer community? Family? Group? City? Chapter? We would love to hear other ideas you may have. 

We thought to share a resource that has helped further explain NP’s steps in making a shift in the language they use on a global scale. If anyone would like to discuss this further, or has any questions, we are happy to talk to you. We appreciate the folks who have been open and vulnerable in discussing some of the things that they have felt uncomfortable about, in order to make us better. Perhaps you have not given this some thought, others, have wondered, and others who are relieved this is the case. No matter what, we feel it’s important to communicate and will continue to do our best to share transparently what we are learning, and why we are doing what we are doing. 



  1. Have you checked out another city for a workout?
  2. Read a guest blog, see someone else’s story

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