Other Resources

There are a few other important resources that are useful for working with Indigenous content, especially land acknowledgements and appropriate terminology to use when discussing Indigenous issues. 

Land Acknowledgements

Here are a few tips from McGill University's Indigenous Initiatives site to remember when making a land acknowledgement before an event:

  1.  Know the pronunciation before you get to the mic – We live in the age of information. If you have no one to ask, google, phonetic spelling and YouTube are all easy options.
  2.  Acknowledge the past as well as the present – Historic presence is an important factor in land acknowledgements. However, acknowledgement of continued and current presence is equally as important. Using language that insinuates Indigenous presence is of the past is harmful, not healing.
  3.  Take a moment to reflect on what these words mean – Reflect on what ways your work and/or life contributes to the respect this acknowledgement is intended to illuminate. Can you think of examples from your own life? Work place? Community?
  4.  Make the acknowledgement your own - Reading word-for-word from a scripted acknowledgement can feel stiff and insincere. This goes hand-in-hand with reflecting on what the words mean: if you take the time to think about the meaning and impact of the acknowledgement, it is easier to speak from a place of sincerity in the moment.

Native Land also provides an excellent resource for learning about the nuances of land acknowledgements:

Why acknowledge territory?
Territory acknowledgement is a way that people insert an awareness of Indigenous presence and land rights in everyday life. This is often done at the beginning of ceremonies, lectures, or any public event. It can be a subtle way to recognize the history of colonialism and the need for change in settler colonial societies.

How to acknowledge territory?
Often, territory acknowledgements are concise, along the lines of: “I want to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of [nation names].” Some people may also mention the name of a local treaty. Some may learn the language and speak a few words in it.

If you are not sure how to pronounce a nation’s name, there are several ways to learn, including:

Respectfully asking someone from that nation or a local organization such as a Friendship Center or Indigenous Student Center;
Check the nation’s website, they may have a phonetic pronunciation on their “About” page, an audio recording of their name, or videos that include people saying the nation’s name; or
Call the nation after hours and listen to their answering machine recording.

If you want to learn more about the specific lands that McGill is situated on, here is a list of resources:

Major Policy Documents


In 2017, McGill University's Provost Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education set out a series of Calls to Action they deemed essential to McGill's project of recognition and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, read the Provost Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education.

Terminology Conventions

When discussing Indigenous Issues and topics it is important to be aware of the appropriate vocabulary to use, to reduce potential harm. Below is a terminology guide that explores the different kinds of terms to avoid, as well as more updated and preferable options to use instead:




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