For today’s blog post I am going to go in a little different direction than what the group had provided. Not to be disrespectful, but I found a more personal connection and a story with the direction that I hope to take this blog post. This is also going to be a slight continuation of an earlier blog post I did on the same topic.
The way in which territorial acknowledgments are delivered must matter. Are they formulaic recitations that barely penetrate the consciousness of the speaker and those listening? Are they something that must be ‘gotten through’ before the meeting or speech can begin? Can we escape dilution through repetition?- Chelsea Vowel
As Chelsea Vowel mentions in her blog, we must make sure that these connections that we are making are meaningful. I think that often times when we are only doing the acknowledgement so that we can check something on our checklist.
For example, when we are in Regina and we only say that we are on Treaty Four territory, while this is technically correct we are doing a disservice to the traditional people. In the Territorial acknowledgement on the Faculty of Education’s website they make mention of the traditional people of the land and say, “the University of Regina is predominately situated in Treaty 4 Territory with a presence in Treaty 6 Territory. Treaty 4 is the traditional territory of the Cree, Saulteaux, Nakota, Lakota and Dakota peoples, and is the homeland of the Métis people.” I think this is a much better way of making the acknowledgement. We are no longer just checking something on a list. This acknowledgement is much more meaningful.
In my own acknowledgement, I would also add that this is an important part of our past, but more importantly a part of our future.
So… in summary, my own acknowledgement would be something along the lines of, “We are situated in Treaty 4 Territory. Treaty 4 is the traditional territory of the Cree, Saulteaux, Nakota, Lakota and Dakota peoples, and is the homeland of the Métis people. This is an important part of our past, but more importantly a part of our future.”