Let's see if this definition resonates. "Terrorists", noun, plural: people on the underside of the social, economic, and political power structure who stand up for themselves. Those who, marginalized on the land they peopled first, take a stand and demand their rights instead of continuing to allow themselves to be further beaten down. Also known as "Insurgents" or "Military Opponents".
At least that's how the term is to be understood in the Canadian army's counterinsurgency manual, which states:
The rise of radical Native American organizations, such as the Mohawk Warrior Society, can be viewed as insurgencies with specific and limited aims... Although they do not seek complete control of the federal government, they do seek particular political concessions in their relationship with national governments and control (either overt or covert) of political affairs at a local/reserve ('First Nation') level, through the threat of, or use of, violence. (G& M)
Read the excellent response by Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine. Excerpt:
Any reference to First Nations people as possible insurgents or terrorists is a direct attack on us - it demonizes us, it threatens our safety and security and attempts to criminalize our legitimate right to live our lives like all other Canadians do. Just being referenced in such a document compromises our freedom to travel across borders, have unimpeded telephone and internet communications, raise money, and protest against injustices to our people.
I mean, we all know it is which side of the power structure you are on which determines whether your fight is "terrorism" or "defense" or "freedom fighters" or "insurgents". But usually they try to hide that fact.