A question I have been sitting with for a while is when and where land acknowledgments are called for/appropriate. When I facilitate a special event (training session, large meeting), it has become my practice to always include a territorial acknowledgment. I've been wondering, though, if more day-to-day happenings call for acknowledgments as well. For instance, regular staff meetings, ongoing student workshops, etc. It was suggested to me once that I could start initial counselling sessions with students by acknowledging territory and placing myself introducing my cultural heritage. I haven't woven that approach into my practice (admittedly out of some discomfort about how it would work)... but I'm still wondering about that idea.
So I suppose my question is about standards of practice for when and where to acknowledge the territory, essentially the kinds of events where acknowledgments are appropriate, and if there are some where it's not appropriate. Are there guidelines of any kind around this, or does it vary from nation to nation and/or institution to institution?
I haven't found much information to guide me in this question so far, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I really enjoyed the article "Beyond territorial acknowledgments, and these lines feel like some guidance for me around this question:
If we think of territorial acknowledgments as sites of potential disruption, they can be transformative acts that to some extent undo Indigenous erasure. I believe this is true as long as these acknowledgments discomfit both those speaking and hearing the words. The fact of Indigenous presence should force non-Indigenous peoples to confront their own place on these lands. I would like to see territorial acknowledgments happening in spaces where they are currently absent, particularly in rural and remote areas and within the governance structures of settlers. Source: https://apihtawikosisan.com/2016/09/beyond-territorial-acknowledgments/
It was helpful for me to reflect on the fact that one of the desired outcomes of land acknowledgments is disruption (if even in small ways) of the colonial systems in place and/or transformation of relationships, and that discomfort on the part of speaker and listener is expected and in fact desirable.