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Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Subject Thesaurus

The AST covers specific subject areas identified during a review of manuals, policies, publications and other information resources from various departmental organizations. As a result of this review, terms were extracted to be used for subject classification in various AANDC information systems such as AANDC's Internet and Intranet sites.

The following types of concepts have not been included in the AST: geographical names, titles (e.g. program names), proper names (e.g. companies) and acronyms, except where they are in common usage. These concepts were not included for a variety of reasons. Some terms may change frequently over time and prove difficult to maintain. Some terms fall outside the scope of this thesaurus because they are not "subject-related" but more "context-related". Some terms are better suited in a separate metadata field because the authoritative source already exists within the department (for example, First Nation names, geographic locations, program names).

General information
Vocabulary type: 
Available formats: 
Searchable online
Was vocabulary created as a course project: 
Scope and Usage

The main function is to standardize the form and meaning of subject terms, which will ensure that a particular concept or subject will always be represented in the same way in AANDC metadata resources.

Used By: 

The AST is primarily intended for content managers, librarians, indexers and metadata specialists at AANDC who must select controlled subject terms to index AANDC information resources for metadata requirements.

Vocabulary characteristics
Relationship types: 
Characteristics Comments: 

The AST is a bilingual thesaurus of subject terms describing the work of AANDC. It includes more than 2800 terms in English and more that 2900 terms in French, including almost 1300 preferred terms in each language. The AST conforms to internationally accepted standards and conventions for thesaurus construction (i.e. Guidelines for the construction, format and management of monolingual controlled vocabularies (ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005), Guidelines for the establishment and development of monolingual thesauri (ISO 2788-1986) and the Guidelines for the establishment and development of multilingual thesauri (ISO 5964-1985)).

Vocabulary provider name: 
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Provider contact details: 

If you have comments, suggestions for additions or modifications, or would like to discuss the contents of the AANDC Subject Thesaurus, please send an email to: