UTM Land Acknowledgement
The Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement recognizing the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. They serve as an honest way of recognizing First Nations, Metis, and/or Inuit Territories of place. They can be presented verbally, visually, or through any other means that a group feels would acknowledge the land upon which we operate.
Inspired by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, a Land Acknowledgement is the first step in recognizing the land and its original occupants.
Why do we acknowledge the land?
Acknowledging the land is an Indigenous protocol used to express gratitude to those who reside here, and to honour the Indigenous people who have lived and worked on this land historically and presently. It allows us the opportunity to appreciate the unique role and relationship that each of us has with the land, and provides a gentle reminder of the broader perspectives that expand our understanding to encompass the long-standing, rich history of the land, and our privileged role in residing here.
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honouring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgments do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol. (taken from: http://www.lspirg.org/knowtheland/)
The traditional land acknowledgement is included below:
I (we) wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.
The land acknowledgement is not meant to be scripted. Each individual is encouraged to reflect on the statement and look at how the group can use events, activities, and programming to actively teach the community about Indigenous traditions and history.
Land Acknowledgement Protocol at the University of Toronto
The Statement of Acknowledgement of Traditional Land is to be used at specific university ceremonies such as Convocation, Groundbreakings, and Building Openings. This statement was developed in consultation with First Nations House and the Elders Circle, some scholars in the field, and senior University officials. The statement is applicable to all three campuses – UTM, UTSC, and St. George – as well as the Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill, the Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), and is available to all members of the University community for use at University events as appropriate.
National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation
Truth & Reconciliation Commission Reports
The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
The Indigenous History of Tkaronto
Guide to Acknowledging First Peoples & Traditional Territory