"McGill University is situated on the traditional territory of the Kanien’keha:ka, a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst nations. We recognize and respects the Kanien’keha:ka as the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which we meet today."*
Recognizing the history of where you stand is important, and becoming increasingly common practice when hosting events and activities across Canada. Here are a few tips to remember if you want to make a land acknowledgment before a class presentation, in a written document, or when hosting an event.
- 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.
- Acknowledge the past as well as the present – Historic presence is an important factor in land acknowledgements. However, acknowledgement of continued and current presence are equally as important. Using language that insinuates indigenous presence is of the past is harmful not healing.
- Take a moment to reflect on what these words mean – Speak from a place of sincerity and reflect on what ways, your work and/or life contributes to the respect this acknowledgment is intended to illuminate. Can you think of examples from your own life? Work place? Community?
*It should be noted that there is not yet an official McGill land acknowledgment. This is one of the goals of last year's Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Education. To find out more, go here.
What We Offer
SEDE has an Equity Educational Advisor, Janelle Kasperski, who specializes in issues of Indigenous Education. To learn more about Janelle and our other advisors, go here.
As part of the Indigenous Education Program, we offer:
- Training workshops on Indigenous Perspectives for clubs and faculty associations.
- Advice on the development of Indigenous-focused programs and events.
- A connection to Indigenous organizations/groups at McGill and in Montréal.
- The opportunity to tutor and mentor youth from the Kahnawa:ke Survival School.