What Is A Land Acknowledgment?
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
Why do we recognize the land?
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. 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. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.
Moving Beyond Acknowledgement
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. A great place to start on campus is going to the Aboriginal Student Center, located at 187 Albert Street. in Waterloo and 111 Darling St. in Brantford. Both campuses host a soup lunch once a week that is open to everyone. In addition, many other events take place throughout the year. Follow them on Facebook or visit in person to see what they have going on!
Act: Be accountable towards Indigenous people and communities by affirming the importance of what they’re saying, aligning oneself with the struggle, and speaking up when something problematic is said.