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In finding the most specific term, the order of preference should generally be:
- identifying a particular ethnic, linguistic, or cultural group—i.e., “Scottish,” “Mi’kmaq,” “Swahili-speaking”;
- identifying a recognized linguistic or cultural family—i.e., “Celtic,” “Algonquian,” “Bantu”;
- identifying a specific regional area—i.e., “British” (in reference to the island of Britain inclusive of all its constituent countries), “Indigenous to what are now the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island,” “southern African”;
- identifying groups of disparate peoples at continental scale—i.e., “European,” “First Nations,” “African.”
The above categories will generally apply to a text with decreasing frequency. Having more descriptors at levels 3 and 4 than 1 and 2 may be an indication that fact-checking or revision are required.
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