"Inspired by the 94 recommended calls to action contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (now known as the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, or NCTR), land acknowledgements are a necessary first step toward honouring the original occupants of a place. They also help Canadians recognize and respect Indigenous peoples’ inherent kinship beliefs when it comes to the land, especially since those beliefs were restricted for so long"
- Selena Mills, "What are land acknowledgements and why do they matter?"
One way that many instructors begin discussions about reconciliation in their classrooms is through a land or territorial acknowledgment at the beginning of the first class.
Acknowledging territory and the history of settlement that preceded colonization is one small way of showing respect and gratitude to Indigenous peoples, both those that lived here long before settlers arrived, and those who continue their stewardship even now, in spite of centuries of displacement and oppression. It can also be a powerful site of learning for our students, many of whom may be unfamiliar with the history of colonization and oppression in this place.
A land acknowledgment can be offered by anyone--settler or Indigenous, instructor or student.