FLO MicroCourse: Acknowledging Traditional Indigenous Lands
The essence of acknowledging traditional lands is about honouring First Nation peoples and grounding ourselves in the place, time, and community where we work, learn, and live in order to build trust and relationships. In keeping true to acknowledging the place where we ourselves work, we offer this course in the teachings of Eye? Sqâ’lewen. This is a Lkwungen word offered to Camosun College and Royal Roads University by Lkwungen elder Elmer George and references "good heart, good mind, and good feelings" – the experiences we want you to have during your journey here. To learn how to pronounce this Lkwungen word: check out this brief video:
Our intention for this learning journey is to create an ethical space where people can engage in intercultural learning with the care, love, curiosity, and genuine appreciation for others that can help us build trust, relationships, community, and human solidarity (St. George & Wulff, 2018).
Over the next 5 days, we'll be learning together about how to acknowledge traditional lands and introduce ourselves in culturally responsive ways in various contexts. For example, in some places the correct protocol is to acknowledge unceded territory rather than ancestral lands. In large, formal meetings, the acknowledgement may be given first, and self-introductions may be brief statements of cultural / family heritage, work role, and purpose for coming together. In smaller talking or learning circles, we may introduce ourselves first and share more deeply about who we are as human beings, contributions we can offer and/or what we hope to learn with the community, and our intention or purpose for being where we are.
As you work through the course activities, you will be:
- Becoming aware of the significance and meaning of acknowledging traditional lands as an act of reconciliation and self-determination.
- Researching the protocols for acknowledging traditional lands at your institution, agency, or organization.
- Acknowledging and locating self in relationship with Indigenous peoples, lands, and waters.
- Inviting feedback on the acknowledgement and introduction you create.
As noted in the MicroCourse Handbook, you should expect to spend at least 5 hours on course activities during the week. Active participation will make this learning experience successful for everyone!
Setting shared guidelines for conversations is basic to diversity and community learning activities to help create safe and ethical learning spaces. We invite you to consider the 4 Rs of respect, reciprocity, relevance, and responsibility (Kirkness & Barnhardt, 2001) as shared guidelines during this course.
Note: In view of the reality that conversations about culture can be sensitive and our learning space is open to anonymous others in the world, we encourage you to share only as much personal information as you deem appropriate for this context.