As a way of honouring Algonquin people who have lived on this land and cared for it since time immemorial, we suggest an Acknowledgement be read at the beginning of any community event. Recently there has been much discussion about the validity of Acknowledgements, questions about reading the same text over and over - does it become stale, does it cease to convey our intention?
Suzanne Keeptwo, the author of "WE ALL GO BACK TO THE LAND: THE WHO, WHY AND HOW OF LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS" (Brush Education Inc. 2021) provides non-Indigenous people with direction on how to do an Acknowledgement honorably. First she states that a "Welcome to the Territory" given by an Elder from the area is preferable for community events, noting that the organization should make the request properly, in advance, using the local protocols and offering compensation for their time. For more information on local protocols, check out our page, Resources for Reconciliation. If a Welcome to the Territory cannot be arranged, a Land Acknowledgement is acceptable for non-Indigenous people to conduct however it should contain certain elements:
The land itself must be acknowledged and its role in sustaining our lives and recognizing our reciprocal obligation towards the land.
The Acknowledgement should be truthful, educational and always changing to include current issues, challenges or successes in how we are treating the land.
The Acknowledgement should align with the social justice initiatives that the organization is engaged in. If your organization is not currently engaged in social justice initiatives that contribute towards Reconciliation, please consider taking up some task, big or small that contributes towards Reconciliation - be it fundraising for an Indigenous organization or supporting local environmental initiatives.
The traditional name of the local Indigenous People should be used in the Acknowledgement.
The Acknowledgement should be heartfelt & honest.
Below are examples of Acknowledgements that have been developed by individuals and groups which are offered here to provide guidance as you develop your own Acknowledgement:
This is a quote from the Report on January 28th Council Meeting by Theresa Peluso from the Millstone News https://millstonenews.com/report-on-january-28-council-meeting/ Following the smudging ceremony, Mayor Lowry read the land acknowledgement statement that had been carefully written through consultation with Elder McDermott and with support from Councilor Jan Maydan and representatives from Mississippi Mills All My Relations, Bev Hunter and Sue Evans. The acknowledgement which is now part of the official record is the following:
We acknowledge that this sacred land on which Mississippi Mills is now located has been a site of human activity for over 10,000 years and is rich in Indigenous history. This land is the ancestral and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation. We are grateful to the Algonquin ancestors who cared for the land and water in order that we might meet here today. Before settlers arrived, this territory was subject to the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Nations to peaceably share and care for resources. After settlers arrived, it became subject to the Three Figure Wampum Belt, last carried by Algonquin Elder William Commanda, which commemorates the sharing of this land with English, French and Indigenous Nations under the governance of Natural Law. We recognize with gratitude the knowledge and contributions that the Algonquin Peoples bring to the Municipality of Mississippi Mills. Today, Mississippi Mills is also home to other Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island. We extend our respect to all First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for their valuable past and present contributions. We are mindful of broken covenants and the need to reconcile with all our relations. Together, may we care for this land and each other, drawing on the strength of our mutual history of nation building through peace and friendship being mindful of generations to come.
Acknowledgement that affirms Justice & Solidarity
We acknowledge that Lanark County is situated on unceded traditional Omàmìwininì (Algonquin) territory and with this acknowledgement comes respect for the land, people and the shared history of the territory. We recognize the injustices of the past and those that continue today. As we seek to achieve Reconciliation, we are committed to speaking Truth and working towards Justice in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. Lanark County Neighbours for Truth & Reconciliation
Acknowledgement that recognizes the injustices of the past
We are meeting today on the unceded Algonquin/Omàmìwininì traditional territory. We acknowledge the injustices of the past and those that continue today. As we seek to achieve Reconciliation, we are committed to speaking Truth and working towards Justice in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. adapted from Seed Changehttps://weseedchange.org/
Acknowledgement that offers gratitude
I acknowledge that the land on which I live is the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin/Omàmìwininì People. I offer my gratitude to our First Nations for their care of, and teachings about, our Mother Earth and All Our Relations. May we honour those teachings. from Francine Desjardinshttps://www.facebook.com/Lanark-Drum-Circle
Acknowledgement that speaks to the privilege of living here
We wish to acknowledge that we are operating on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabeg traditional territory. We are grateful for the many opportunities that this privilege affords us. from Art for Aid https://www.artforaid.ca/
Acknowledgement that speaks to respect for the Algonquin people
Ni manàdjiyànànig Màmìwininì Anishinàbeg, ogog kà nàgadawàbandadjig iyo akì eko weshkad. Ako nongom ega wìkàd kì mìgiwewàdj. Ni manàdjiyànànig kakina Anishinàbeg ondaje kaye ogog kakina eniyagizidjig enigokamigàg Kanadàng eji ondàpinangig endàwàdjin Odàwàng. Ninisidawinawànànig kenawendamòdjig kije kikenindamàwin; weshkinìgidjig kaye kejeyàdizidjig. Nigijeweninmànànig ogog kà nìgànì sòngideyedjig; weshkad, nongom; kaye àyànikàdj.
Listen to the audio file made by Joan Commanda Tenasco, an Anishinàbekwe from Kitigàn Zìbìng near Maniwaki, Quebec. She is a semi-retired Algonquin language teacher and continues to develop curriculum. She also works as a translator to ensure the continuous existence of the Anishinàbe language. Translation: We pay respect to the Algonquin people, who are the traditional guardians of this land. We acknowledge their longstanding relationship with this territory, which remains unceded. We pay respect to all Indigenous people in this region, from all nations across Canada, who call Ottawa home. We acknowledge the traditional knowledge keepers, both young and old. And we honour their courageous leaders: past, present, and future. University of Ottawa https://www.uottawa.ca/indigenous/