Land Acknowledgements

Land Acknowledgements

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Carleton University is located on the unceded territory of the Anishnaabek/Omàmiwininìwag. I personally live on Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabek territory under the Williams Treaty. I understand that it is my personal responsibility to help uphold this Treaty.

Carleton University is located on the unceded territory of the Anishinaabek/Omàmiwininìwag. I personally live on Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek territory under the Williams Treaty. I understand that it is my personal responsibility to help uphold this Treaty.

 

Land Acknowledgements are an Indigenous protocol and are a demonstration of respect for the history of Indigenous peoples, as well as their present realities. They should be used at gatherings, events, meetings regardless of whether Indigenous people are present or not. Recently, the Toronto District School Board began using territorial acknowledgments at the start of their school day.

 

The basic construction of a land acknowledgment is simply a greeting, the acknowledgment itself, and perhaps a word of thanks. The website native-land.ca is a great resource for finding out on whose traditional territory you, or the location involved, are located. It’s also important to make a distinction between unceded territory and Treaty territory. Unceded territory means that it has never been yielded or surrendered and there is no treaty with any non-Indigenous Nation or Colonial State. Native-land also has a tab to show you any Treaties, which may apply to your area. The texts of many treaties can be found on the AANDC/INAC website.

In your acknowledgment you should acknowledge both the traditional territory as well as the appropriate Treaty. The Canadian Association of University Teachers Traditional Territory Guide provides many Land Acknowledgement examples used for acknowledgements at universities across Canada. The guide can be found on the CAUT website.

 

It must be emphasized that Land Acknowledgements are a responsibility: they are an important step in recognition, but they must be considered as only a single step in the larger context of relationship building. Land Acknowledgments should be used to learn some basic information about the land and its original occupants, and then to continue the conversation with those people themselves.

 

More information about this continuing conversation can be found at Chelsea Vowel’s blog:
References

 

The “CAUT – Acknowledging Traditional Territory – List—Territorial-Acknowledgement-by-Province.pdf.” Accessed September 21, 2016. http://www.caut.ca/docs/default-source/professional-advice/list—territorial-acknowledgement-by-province.pdf?sfvrsn=12.

 

Vowel, Chelsea. (2016, September 23). Accessed January 17, 2017. http://apihtawikosisan.com/2016/09/beyond-territorial-acknowledgments/#_ftn1