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Land Acknowledgements

All land is Indigenous land.

Land acknowledgements are Indigenous protocol to show respect for indigenous peoples and recognize their enduring and continuing relationship to the land. Committing to authentic land acknowledgments can also raise awareness about histories that are often suppressed or erased. Kanyon Sayers-Roods, a Mutsun Ohlone activist in Northern California, states that the “acknowledgment process is about asking, What does it mean to live in a post-colonial world? What did it take for us to get here? And how can we be accountable to our part in history?”.

Not just a checklist: Moving towards Allyship and Reconciliation

It’s important to understand the land acknowledgements should act as one of the first steps towards reconciliation with tribal communities. They are NOT a check list or a badge to indicate stand-alone “allyship” with any tribal community. It is important to do the work: to research, to reach out to tribal nations, to sit with (some) uncomfortableness, but move forward.

Here are a few tips to help you move beyond a land acknowledgement:

  • Build relationships with tribal communities. Ask what an authentic and meaningful relationship looks like. How can you go about creating it?
  • Ask what the boundaries are and respect them.
  • Don’t ask a tribe to do the emotional labor for you.
  • Be sure to include tribal members as soon as possible in the planning of any event. Have you made space for them to be an active participant or presenter? Are you providing other ways for tribes to be involved if they don’t want to actively participate in the event?
  • Think of ways that you and your organization can support the tribe(s) and their priorities (within and outside of your field of scope)
  • For further help on not only creating land acknowledgements, but moving towards integrating the meaning and purpose into your organizational culture and programs please utilize the resources below as a starting off point in your journey

Resources by Indigenous Voices

Are you planning to do a Land Acknowledgement?

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Creating connections through land acknowledgements

Increase your understanding of respectful ways to acknowledge the contributions Native Americans continue to have on our communities and the natural world around us. Join us in the February's First Monday Update to discover more about the importance and relevance of land acknowledgements.

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Beyond Territorial Acknowledgements

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Centering the Land: The Importance of Acknowledging Indigenous Land and Lifeways

Do we really have to say the land acknowledgement statement before every presentation at Convention?
Isn’t one time enough? What really is the point?
I’ve said the land acknowledgement in my first presentation at Convention, why do I need to say it again?

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Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgment

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'I regret it': Hayden King on writing Ryerson University's territorial acknowledgement

A territorial acknowledgement, as they have evolved, is sort of a political statement encouraging primarily non-Indigenous people to recognize that they're on Indigenous land and hopefully do something about it.

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Know the Land: Territories Campaign

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

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Land acknowledgements are a good first step, but there’s a lot more work to be done

Land acknowledgements are a good first step, but there’s a lot more work to be done
My kids hear a land acknowledgement each morning at school. But will hearing it every day help kids absorb that info or will it become background noise? In hundreds of schools across Canada, the morning announcements start the same way, with a land acknowledgement stating that the building is located in the traditional territory of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples (FNMI). You may have heard something similar at a civic event or fundraiser—for many non-Indigenous Canadians, it’s one of the first introductions to the idea of reconciliation.

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Making Coast Salish Territorial Acknowledgements Matter

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Native Land

Territory acknowledgement is a way that people insert an awareness of Indigenous presence and land rights in everyday life. This is often done at the beginning of ceremonies, lectures, or any public event. It can be a subtle way to recognize the history of colonialism and a need for change in settler colonial societies.

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Understanding Territorial Acknowledgement as a Respectful Relationship

As an Indigenous scholar, ethical practice is rooted in cultural protocols and in this I acknowledge that I have experienced many transformative approaches which reflect teachings from these lands. Therefore, I acknowledge the territories for facilitating and assisting in the development of Indigenous leadership, pedagogies and transformation within academia. The relationships we develop within these territories can assist in spiritual, emotional, physical and mental well-being for students, administrators and faculty. I also acknowledge that it is a form of respect, wherever we live, to find out whose traditional territory we are on because every part of what is now known as Canada is someone’s Indigenous traditional territory.

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What are Land Acknowledgments and Why Do They Matter?

Indigenous writer Selena Mills illustrates the importance of land acknowledgements—and shares perspectives about this newly popular form of reconciliation

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Why are territorial acknowledgements important?

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