In the spirit of reconciliation we recognize that our presence is on the ancestral lands and traditional territories of the Dene, Inuit, and Métis peoples, also know as the Northwest Territories. We express our gratitude to the Indigenous communities of the Northwest Territories for graciously allowing us to reside, work, play and enjoy the privileges of their lands. Furthermore, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for the invaluable contributions of traditional knowledge, wisdom, and cultural practices that have been generously shared with us.
Why is it important to acknowledge territory?
Territory acknowledgement serves as a powerful tool to foster an understanding and appreciation of Indigenous presence and land rights in our daily lives. It is commonly practiced at the commencement of ceremonies, lectures, or any public gathering. By acknowledging the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples, we can subtly acknowledge the historical impact of colonialism and the urgent need for transformation in settler colonial societies.
Recognizing Indigenous Territory: A Guide
Territory acknowledgements are typically succinct, often phrased as: “We acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of [community name].” Some individuals may also reference a local treaty or incorporate a few words from the indigenous language.
If you’re uncertain about the correct pronunciation of a nation’s name, there are several methods to learn it:
- Politely inquire from a member of that nation or from a local entity such as a Friendship Center or Indigenous Student Center.
- Visit the nation’s website. They may provide a phonetic pronunciation on their “About” page, an audio-recording of their name, or videos featuring people pronouncing the nation’s name.
- Phone the community after business hours and listen to their voicemail recording.
While a succinct acknowledgement may suffice for some groups, others may prefer a more comprehensive and intentional acknowledgement. Crafting a thoughtful, in-depth acknowledgement necessitates time and consideration.