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Land acknowledgments, treaties, and further resources: Centennial College and the City of Toronto

Writing a Land Acknowledgement

Research the following:

1. Whose land are you on?

  • Enter your address at Native-Land.ca to learn the names of nations

2. What are the treaties?

  • Treaties were agreements between the British Crown and the Indigenous group who originally occupied the land were meant to benefit both groups, but were broken. Find treaties for your address at Native-Land.ca

3. How did the First Peoples record treaties?

  • European societies recorded treaties as written documents, but Indigenous communities recorded agreements orally or using wampum belts. It's important to recognize the validity of Indigenous peoples' forms of governance. 

(Toronto Land Acknowledgement by Shannon Winterstein/Centennial College (2019))

Delivering a Land Acknowledgement

1. Decide who should delivery the acknowledgement

  • Hint: it doesn't need to be an Elder, Traditional Teacher, or someone else from the Indigenous community. However, if it is one of these people, you should pay them for their time and invite them to stay for the entirety of the event
  • Since land acknowledgements are acts of reconciliation, they are essential for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to participate in. Consider asking a non-Indigenous people to deliver the acknowledgement. 

2. Introduce and position yourself

  • Introduce yourself: are your ancestors Indigenous to these lands? How did you or your family come to live here? What does it mean to you to recognize these traditional lands, peoples, and treaties.

3. Connect the land acknowledgement to the event

  • Include the First Peoples and their knowledge throughout your day.

(Toronto Land Acknowledgement by Shannon Winterstein/Centennial College (2019))

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