I am including our campuses acknowledgment statement as I have found it an excellent resource and starting point for doing acknowledgments in other territories or provinces. The following is the standard statement found on most correspondence:
"Assiniboine Community College campuses are located on the traditional territories of Treaty No. 1 and Treaty No. 2, and the shared traditional lands of Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene and Anishinabek/Ojibwe peoples, and the homeland of the Métis nation. We acknowledge their welcome to the students who seek knowledge here"
The best advice I have ever received about doing proper acknowledgments came from our Cultural advisor at the college. He told me to relax, just ask the territories' people for guidance, and admit you are wanting to be respectful despite my ability to put my foot in my mouth without trying. Given that guidance and reassurance that the first step is admittance to needing to learn was a relief. So with that I typically frame my acknowledgment around the following:
"Assiniboine Community College campuses are located on the traditional territories of Treaty No. 1 and Treaty No. 2, and the shared traditional lands of Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene and Anishinabek/Ojibwe peoples, and the homeland of the Métis nation. I acknowledge their welcome to the students who seek knowledge here. My father and mother and I have been welcomed on these traditional lands all of my life and am honored to be here with you today"
I typically adjust the last two sentences based upon my audience. The inclusion of the Metis nation is very important to me as well, it creates a full sense of inclusion.
Thanks Kirk! The reminder that we are always learning is important. What I find especially challenging is doing that in the classroom context where I am supposed to be the "expert" teaching the students. Sometimes there are students who know more than I do about a particular topic, which is really cool when it happens. Acknowledging my own lack of knowledge puts me in a place of vulnerability which some would say is a weakness, but others would say allows for greater connection with students who may also be feeling quite vulnerable.
I am curious, do you always use the "campuses" language? This is something I've
wondered about. Capilano has campuses on the territories of Squamish,
Tsleil-Waututh, Sechelt, Musqueam, and Lil'wat nations, but the
classroom where I teach is on Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh lands. I
usually refer to these two specifically in my opening, but then mention
the others later. Does that make sense? How have others approached this?
thanks for the feedback!
If I am working or hosting class/meetings in another area of the province or Canada, I try to tailor my acknowledgment to that region. In cases where I am out of province I will not include the acknowledgment of my campuses location, but will acknowledge my being welcome to the region's territory on which I am speaking. Not sure if that makes sense?
Thanks Kirk. I am wondering about those contexts where an institution has multiple campuses on the lands of multiple different groups, yet the specific gathering (a class, meeting, workshop, etc.) is only happening on the territory of one group.
ahh, we do have a map we refer to when going to different areas of the province. also our campus in Winnipeg for example will have their own acknowledgment that they use as a standard guide as the traditional lands are different there.
I wonder about that too, as we have locations in five areas across our state. As part of my info-gathering efforts, I want to try and figure out if the land acknowledgement statements differ between campuses.
I used a land acknowledgement statement for the first time yesterday, when giving a recorded webinar. We typically have participants from one or more campus locations who attend. I framed it as 'for those who may be familiar with our unit, we are based in Walter Library, on the East Bank of the Twin Cities campus. With our location in mind, ..." I then read the statement.
I really rely on the local experts in the area I am going to be a guest at. I don't just rely on the maps we have as I want to ensure I am including the appropriate acknowledgment.
Thanks for sharing Kirk...
This really resonates for me " just ask the territories' people for guidance, and admit you are wanting to be respectful" it seems to be the most appropriate approach to use in an unfamiliar environment.
Thanks for sharing. I really connect with the "My father and mother and I have been welcomed on these traditional lands..." section. That resonates with me.
I was wondering about the wording of "We acknowledge their welcome to the students who seek knowledge here". What exactly is meant by that sentence? Is it suggesting that the traditional inhabitants are welcoming the students?
mostly to pay respect to the welcome of our institution and its students to learn on the land in that area. It always seemed odd to me that we would only include ourselves in the statement and not the people we educate as well.