Acknowledging the land and beyond
Land is sacred to Indigenous people
Caring for the land means caring for beautiful Mother Earth, provider of nourishment and healing, sustainer of all life, and spiritual guide to practices that preserve the water, soil, plants, trees and animals.
A land acknowledgment is a statement that recognizes and honours the Indigenous people whose traditional lands were appropriated, colonized, and exploited by European settlers.
Starting an event or gathering with a land acknowledgment is an act of reconciliation. It sends a message that the settlers of today recognize it was never their ancestors’ right to occupy, own, or exploit the land that Indigenous people had called their home for centuries, and still do.
We would like to acknowledge the land upon which we reside. We recognize that this space is virtual, and many of you are residing in different lands and territories. We invite you to take this time to reflect upon your positionality and the lands that you are on in Turtle Island.
A land acknowledgment is a first step.
For those of us who are settlers on this land, we often benefit from the structures and practices of colonialism. Therefore, we must recognize the history of colonialism and harms done by settlers to various Indigenous communities through the erasure of culture, land appropriation, a disregard for Indigenous rights, traditions, and knowledge.
What is an ally?
Being an ally is about disrupting oppressive spaces by educating others on the realities and histories of marginalized people
There are many ways to be an ally to Indigenous peoples.
The term ‘ally’ means that YOU recognize the privilege that settler cultures have and take for granted. It also implies that you challenge and work towards breaking down those barriers that continue to violate Indigenous communities. Being an ally requires social action, strength, courage, humility, and a support network.
Allyship is a continuous process. It is also not a label one can give oneself, but one you earn from the communities you stand in solidarity with through your actions and commitment.
We can commit to being better allies through continuous efforts in the truths to reconciliation process of the Indigenous Peoples history.
We can stand in solidarity by:
- Amplifying and listening to Indigenous voices
- Asking questions and spreading awareness about Indigenous rights
- Being mindful of the language we are using when speaking about Indigenous culture and peoples
- Caring for the land and environmental justice
- Respecting any cultural protocols and traditions
- Building meaningful relationships and being accountable
- Using our privilege to make safer spaces for Indigenous peoples
- Acknowledging our mistakes, learning and growing from them
How much do you know about the traditional territory you live in?
What are some ways you could contribute to decolonization and allyship?
What can non-indigenous folks do to become better allies?
Find out here which lands and territories you are currently residing on: Territory Acknowledgement
Resources & References
To find out which lands and territories you are currently residing on here: Territory Acknowledgement
- What are some ways you could contribute to decolonization and allyship? Building Trust Before Truth: How Non-Indigenous Canadians Become Allies
- Indigenous Ally Toolkit
- Indigenous allies: calls to action: Resource Hub
- Government of Canada – Indigenous history
- Thunderbird Partnership Foundation
- CRE- Canadian Roots Exchange
- Wise Practices
- First Nations Health Authority
- WE Matter