Trent University Land Acknowledgement
We [I] respectfully acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Mississauga Anishinaabeg. We offer our gratitude to our First Nations for their care for, and teachings about, our earth and our relations. May we honour those teachings. – (Provided by CAUT)
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes the relationship and territory of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. The statement consists of acknowledging the original inhabitants by mentioning Treaty Rights and/or the colonization process to provide an understanding of positive allyship by acknowledging the land and its Original Peoples. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation.
Important things to know about acknowledgement
– The person giving the acknowledgement should be the host of the event or meeting themselves
– Include a formal thank you to the host nation whenever making a presentation or holding a meeting, whether or not Indigenous individuals are part of the meeting or gathering
– If you do not know the name of the Nation on whose territory or treaty land the building sits, ask around; Friendship Centers, Aboriginal Student Centers, local Band Offices
– Practice saying the name is the host nation out loud
– A land acknowledgment is not something you “just do” before an event. Rather it is a reflection process in which you build mindfulness and intention walking into whatever gathering you are having.
Although it is important to acknowledge the land, it is only a first step. We are all treaty signers, and are thus responsible and accountable for the violence that Indigenous people face. Allyship is a continuous process; it is not a designation that one can earn and hold forevermore. It is also not a label one can give themselves, but one you earn from your actions and commitment to standing in solidarity.
Here are some simple ways you can begin the ongoing and continual process of acting in solidarity with Indigenous folks in Canada:
Learn: About oppression and privilege. About the history of colonization. About Indigenous peoples and cultures. About the land you live on. To listen. There are many books, blogs, documentaries,Independent media sites, plays, and songs that Indigenous people have written and performed that are great places to start learning.
Build relationships: Building relationships is a very important aspect of standing in solidarity.
Act: By being accountable towards Indigenous people and communities by supporting what they are saying is important, aligning oneself with the struggle, and speaking up when something problematic is said.
Information used was based on the LSPIRG website. Miigwetch (thank you).