THE term Fijian should only be applied to indigenous Fijians or the iTaukei.
Those of other ethnic groups in the country should be referred to as Fiji Islanders.
This was part of the submission by Tui Wainunu Ratu Orisi Baleitavea while presenting the collective submission of the nine districts of Bua, and said it was not based on racial discrimination.
"The term Fijian is something precious and should only be used to the iTaukei.
"It is something that is wholly ours and sets us different from the rest of the races in the country," Ratu Orisi said at Naikavaki Secondary School in Bua on Monday.
He said "our cultures, tradition and knowledge passed on from teachings were different though we have become a union of racial communities in the country".
"We do not deny them but we suggest that the term Fijian be used to denote the iTaukei, our traditions, the people that we are, and everything that makes us stand out from the rest," Ratu Orisi said.
He referred to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that states: "Affirming that indigenous peoples are equal to other peoples, while recognising the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different and to be respected as such."
Commission chairman Professor Yash Ghai said there was some Fijians of Indian descent who had stayed their whole life in Fiji and had never gone back to their homeland, making and calling Fiji their home.
"Therefore, the term Fijian fosters a form of racial oneness and a union of identities that will further beget racial unity within the country," Prof Ghai said. "If we continue to have views of separation like this, we are increasing racial differences and nurturing racial disharmony."