What is an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement?
“A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.” – Northwestern University
Why are Indigenous Land Acknowledgements important?
“It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements 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.” – Northwestern University
- For a guide on how to properly acknowledge the Indigenous Lands, consider the guide by ‘The Native Governance Centre‘.
- For an example see how the ‘Centre for Indigenous Initiatives‘ at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.
My Algonquin Territory Acknowledgement
I Ashley Grenstone, acknowledge I was born and currently reside on the Unceded Traditional Lands of the Anishnaabe Algonquin Peoples. As a person of mixed Indigenous and settler/colonizer ancestry, I have the responsibility of identifying the privilege and opportunities I have been afforded and continue to access.
As someone with white passing privilege I am not the recipient of discrimination or oppression from others on the basis of my skin colour. Of the rare occasions wherein I have been targeted, it was for wearing Indigenous clothing/ornamentation, or for being a transgender woman. I have had regular and safe access to health care, safe drinking water, education and travel. I have a BA in Human Rights and am pursuing a Masters degree. I was born and raised in urban settings across northern ‘Turtle Island’ (colonially defined ‘Canada’), separate from any Indigenous cultural teachings, ceremony or basic knowledge of colonialism until my return to Ottawa in 2011. From there I attended the Indigenous Enriched Support Program (IESP) at Carleton University and connected with the Indigenous students and the urban Ottawa Indigenous communities.
Since then I have come to learn of the devastating effects of colonization, the residential school system, the 60’s and 2000’s children skoop, and, unlearned much of the pervasive logic that promoted the cultural and literal genocide of Indigenous People. I recognize the efforts to improve my knowledge, practices and support of Indigenous self-efficacy is a life-long effort that involves giving attention to subject matter that can be uncomfortable due to the privileges I have benefited from.
(Needs a conclusive paragraph – AG – July 2nd 2021)