My Corporate Territorial Acknowledgement
Vancouver Community College – We [I] would like to begin by acknowledging that we are on the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, the traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
— Acknowledgement provided by the Vancouver Community College, Office VP Academic & Research. Guide to Acknowledging First Peoples & Traditional Territory. Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) https://www.caut.ca/.
My Personal Territorial Acknowledgement
I acknowledge that I am on the traditional and unceded territory of coast salish peoples, and I wish to offer my greeting to Chief Wayne and the people of Musqueam, Chief Leah and the people of Tsleil-Waututh, and the hereditary chiefs and the elders of the Squamish First Nations as a sign of respect and as a signal of my hope that we are now on a path toward a better future of fellowship and reconciliation together.
As for myself, I am born on the prairie lands of the Dakota Sioux peoples, and I and my parents are descended from settlers from England, Norway and Sweden. It has been my privilege to have been nurtured by these people and the lands that supported them.
I really like your acknowledgement, in particular the part where you explain what you see as the meaning in your acknowledgement - that it is "a sign of respect and a signal of your hope that we are now on a path toward a better future of fellowship and reconciliation together". I would like to add something to this effect to my acknowledgement.
I appreciate you providing both corporate and personal acknowledgements. Something new for me was seeing how you offer greetings to the chiefs as a sign of respect, thank you for sharing that. Perhaps that is something I can work on in my own acknowledgement.
I really like your acknowledgement and the way it becomes so much more personalized by naming the chiefs. You have inspired me to learn about the chiefs of the land that I live on.
I can echo Michael here! I have some learning to do.
While I understand the inclusion of the Chiefs...I am hesitant to recommend it as a standard inclusion. The First Nations here in the Yukon provided us (the College) with the language to be used in our acknowledgement, I would suggest that if the Chiefs are included, that their inclusion is approved by the local First Nations.
I, too like the inclusion of "a sign of respect and a signal of your hope that we are now on a path toward a better future of fellowship and reconciliation"
Indeed, I have wondered about this. My reason for including it in the first place is to personalize, to attempt to establish a connection with living people (and not just an abstract idea). Additionally, I use the personal names as a way of avoiding "othering" -- the idea to talking about a group of people with the underlying implication that "they" are somehow fundamentally not "us".
I see this is my own place of worship when we make "prayers of the people". The person doing the praying may say something like, "We pray for the people of the DTSE (Downtown East Side) that they may find healing . . . and etc." One could almost hear the words not being said, "I'm so glad I'm not like those people." We can make subtle changes to our word and language use to avoid making unnecessary distinctions between "me" and "you"/"we" and "they"/"us" and "them".
On the other hand Michael, I simply got the chiefs' names from the bands' websites. If the bank elects a new chief and I do not become aware of it. How would that be if I made a public acknowledgement and didn't mention the current chief? That wouldn't be good.
So, this is just something I'm trying out in draft form. I may indeed take your advice and drop the personal names.
Hi Tim and Michel. Great conversation. You could amend to say...."acknowledge the elders, chiefs, matriarchs, and families of the Squamish, Tsleil-Watuth, and Musqueam First Nations..." BTW- we are in a matriarch place of being; not all First Nations come from a matrilineal descent way of being.