Resource Map - Land Acknowledgements
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
-Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group, Ontario, Canada
Following the 2018 LMDA conference in Toronto -- which launched with a Land Acknowledgment delivered by Falen Johnson, who is Mohawk and Tuscarora from Six Nations -- several members have requested information and examples regarding how to approach Land Acknowledgements within their organizations and institutions. Whether you are collaborating with a team that is already aware of the purpose and practice of Land Acknowledgments, or whether you would be initiating the conversation, your dramaturgical instincts can be of use in facilitating this work -- asking questions, providing research and context, considering whose voices are not in the discussion and engaging those voices.
Significant work has been done in this area by a number of different scholars and communities. Rather than attempt to reinvent the wheel, LMDA has amassed several useful resources that you can use as you see fit.
Land Acknowledgements should be very specific to where you are occupying space. Feel free to peruse the resources below as starting points, but be sure to research your own community, the people that live there, and what their protocol is surrounding acknowledgement of the land.
The Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group - This Canadian website gives a brief overview of a typical land acknowledgement, highlighting the “what”, “why”, and “how” of it all. You’ll also find a 2015 study on “Indigenous Allyship” published on the webpage.
US Department of Arts and Culture - This grassroots organization have created a beautiful and comprehensive 13-page toolkit for creating land acknowledgements. They ask you to fill out a small form (on the right-hand side of the webpage) for a free download.
Native-Land.ca - This website is an incredible resource for discovering the original people of the land on which you are settled. It has content from Indigenous lands around the world, and is a useful tool to help connect you with Indigenous nations in your area. Simply enter where you are, and it will direct you to the websites of Indigenous nations who have been on that land since time immemorial. They also have a Land Acknowledgement page, which serves as an excellent starting point on how to thoughtfully assemble a Land Acknowledgement.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission published a list of 94 calls to action to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of reconciliation. This is recommended reading for everyone.
The National Congress of American Indians have created an excellent document titled, “Tribal Nations and the United States” that provides an overview of the history and principles of tribal governance. It is a step toward better understanding the relationship between Indian nations and the federal government.
Lasty, since I’m writing this from Calgary, I also find the University of Calgary to have an excellent resource on Territorial Acknowledgement. It includes a brief video on why Land Acknowledgements are important, three examples of different types of Land Acknowledgements, and a recorded audio pronunciation guide from a local Elder.
VP EDI - LMDA
October 15, 2018