What a blessing to have three stories this week related to Len Pierre’s webinar on learning about transformative territory acknowledgements. Obviously, it was very impactful! Thank you to Tracey from Cloverdale Learning Centre, Amanda from Douglas Elementary, and Rachel from Semiahmoo Secondary for sharing their learning experiences. 

Understanding Why We Do a Territorial Acknowledgement from Tracey 

After watching this and other information on land acknowledgements I have started explaining why we do an acknowledgement.  Most students have heard them but don’t understand why and it is important to explain why or for them it is something they just tune out.  My hope is that by understanding the significance of the acknowledgement that they will reflect on it and share their understanding with others when they say why are we doing this. 

Meaning and Intent Behind Territorial Acknowledgement from Amanda 

Thank you for sending this webinar link. This has really helped put meaning and intent behind using territory acknowledgements as a non-indigenous person and how to go about doing this with respect and openness. 

I like how they mentioned not letting fear, concern or hesitation deter us from doing territory acknowledgments and instead educating ourselves on why we do it. I also appreciate that they mentioned that the land we are on is borrowed. We don’t own it and therefore, we should show respect for the land that we are on just as we show respect and are respectful when we go and visit someone else in their home. We have a beautiful relationship with the land and territory and doing a territorial acknowledgment helps us ground ourselves, be connected with our sense of place/space, to demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation and recognition of Indigenous peoples/territory and to show modesty, kindness, humility and courtesy. 

I also like how they mentioned coming with an ‘open heart and an open mind’ when it comes to setting intentions for learning. This is a learning journey that we are on and I appreciate you all sending webinars such as this to help us all learn in bite-sized pieces to remind ourselves of why we do what we do and how to keep this work in reconciliation going forward. This will help us all have common knowledge, language and understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing and First Peoples Principles of Learning. 

Adding a Territory Acknowledgement to my Email Signature from Rachel 

I really appreciate the opportunity to watch the video about Territory Acknowledgement. One of the reasons that I had not included an acknowledgement in my signature is because I felt it was odd to just write what everybody else writes and it seemed to be not very authentic. I have now started to include it in my signature for my emails. I also plan on doing an acknowledgement at the start of each semester with my classes. In this acknowledgement I plan to be more explicit about my own history as a settler.  

Thank you for sharing your learning stories! We are pleased to send each of you one of our beautiful Hearts and Hands pins. 


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