I am writing this from where I sit watching the late evening sun as a temporary visitor on the traditional lands of the Kaska people. Tonight after a long day's work with good, kind coworkers, I feel especially privileged to work on these lands.
I am excited to return home to Whitehorse in one week and to continue building memories with friends on the lands of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council.
Although I have lived in various cities across Canada, part of my heart will always remain in the coastal forests near my birthplace on the Saanich Peninsula. I was blessed to grow up on the coast, as a settler on the traditional territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ people, including the BOḰEĆEN (Pauquachin), W̱JOȽEȽP (Tsartip), SȾÁUTW̱ (Tsawout), and W̱SĺḴEM (Tseycum) First Nations.
My mother and I share the same birthplace and a deep connection to the coastal lands of southern Vancouver Island. On my mother's side I am English, Irish, and French. Her ancestors have lived as settlers in Canada for many generations. On my father's side, I am Irish. He chose to settle on the lands of the W̱SÁNEĆ people over 30 years ago.
I have not always felt a deep connection or a need to acknowledge the lands where I have lived, and am just starting this journey in building a relationship with the land. I hope to continue to develop these connections to the land and the cultural history of its first peoples.
Hi Siobhan; thank you for the acknowledgement and situating yourself to multiple places. What I like about an acknowledgement is recognizing the land is also our relative and the acknowledgement also recognizes the unique relationship First Nation communities and families have with the land, waters and natural world as caretakers, stewards, and relatives.
Hi Siobhan. Thank you for highlighting that your acknowledgement is part of a journey and ongoing process of self-awareness and location in place. It is a good reminder that we are all learning as we go.
I enjoyed the sense of a natural storytelling voice in your acknowledgement and the sharing of your learning process resonated for me too. As I mentioned to Susan G-M, who also shared about her learning in her post, I plan to model this in my own future statements.
As a relative newcomer to the Victoria area, I also appreciated learning the names of diverse First Nations of the W̱SÁNEĆ traditional territories. This gave me a clear direction on how to pursue further learning about the culture and history of this place.