What is a Land Acknowledgement?

A territorial or land acknowledgement involves making a statement recognizing the traditional territory of the Indigenous people(s). These peoples called the land home before the arrival of settlers, and in many cases still do call it home. Indigenous peoples have been acknowledging the land at the start of gatherings, ceremonies and events for as long as they have inhabited this land. With the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, more non-Indigenous people are becoming aware of the importance.

Providing a land acknowledgement gives time for reflection and demonstrates recognition of Indigenous lands, treaties and peoples. It involves thinking about what happened in the past and what changes can be made going forward in order to further the reconciliation process. Land acknowledgements mark a small and important step in the process of reconciliation and building a positive relationship with Indigenous peoples. By making a land acknowledgement you are taking part in an act of reconciliation, honouring the land and Indigenous presence which dates back over 10,000 years.

Using and participating in a land acknowledgement is a way to recognize the enduring presence and resilience of Indigenous peoples in this area. They are also a reminder that we are all accountable to these relationships.