"As we gather here today, we acknowledge we are on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. I come from a place of respect and gratitude to know I work, live, and learn in their traditional lands."
The first two sentences are the University of Saskatchewan's offical land acknowledgement "As we gather here today, we acknowledge we are on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another." I have been using this regularly for a few years, but have felt like I want to go further and make a connection between the acknowledgement and my work. Lately, I have been trying to connect how the specific workshop or class I am leading connections to Indigenization, Reconciliation, and/or Decolonization. I don't feel like I am achieving that overly well at the moment.
In the draft above, I added "I come from a place of respect and gratitude to know I work, live, and learn in their traditional lands". I saw this within the module examples and appreciated its message. That represents what I hope to convey when making the acknowledgement. By the end of this week, I hope to be able to also add a clear statement about how much work connects in too.
Video version of it
I like that you added the personal element to the acknowledgement. I am curious about how this connects to specific workshops or classes. Do you have an example? For me, I find my acknowledgement is different when I teach a history course as opposed to leading a workshop for peer tutors.
Thanks for the comment and question. An example of a session that I lead regularly is teaching instructors they why and how of using Top Hat (our student response system). After completing the land acknowledgement, I try to explain how the use of Top Hat can work towards Indigenization efforts. For example, using Top Hat allows for all students to have a voice in the classroom (even in a very large class) and promotes conversation between students. Opportunities for discussion and small group work have been identified as instructional strategies that can increase the success of Indigenous students (e.g., in Kanu, 2011).
That is what I mean by making that connection. My example above is one that I have used before. I like the idea of what I am trying to say, but it would like to improve it. What do you think? What suggestions would you have for me?
Hi Ryan & Derek,
I'm also working on ways to weave a brief, relevant statement about disciplinary positionality in the cultural self-location part of my acknowledgement. My context is mainly in faculty dev courses/workshops related to learning design & facilitation to promote intercultural understanding and skills. One key challenge I have is making the relevance crystal clear, while keeping the statement brief enough that it doesn't distract from the purpose of the acknowledgement. I want to ensure that I'm always recognizing Indigenous knowledge & culture in the acknowledgement and never confusing it with international or multicultural streams, even though there's some convergence of values around e.g. critical, holistic, and experiential pedagogies.
This is an work in progress for me and likely always will be. At the moment, here's an article that I'm finding helpful to reflect on positionality: Melting the Cultural Iceberg in Indigenizing Higher Education...in Times of Reconciliation by Julie Vaudrin-Charette. I also recently came across this OER self-paced course from SET-BC on Classroom Technologies and First Peoples' Principles of Learning that includes a module on origin stories - although focused on K-12, it looks relevant to higher ed as well.
By the way Ryan, I've been meaning to say a personal hello. I so much enjoyed the TOOC learning experience with you and Heather back in 2015 :-)
Thanks for the resources, Donna. And hello! It is always interesting for me to re-connect with people from the TOOC!