"In Canada, a land or territorial acknowledgement is a necessarily political statement which recognizes the ongoing relationships between Indigenous Peoples and the land within the context of colonialism. This statement is often made by the host of a gathering as a way to acknowledge the true history of the land on which the gathering is being held.
Land acknowledgements have become more common over the last several years and have at times been criticized for being a surface-level engagement with reconciliatory processes. There has been an increased interest in how to make land acknowledgements more meaningful so that they go beyond being a checklist item.
A land acknowledgement may be seen as an educational opportunity, for the writer as well as for their audience. It can be a process of reflection as one considers their own relationship to the land and to the shared histories between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples" (with permission from Okanagan College Library's Land Acknowledgements guide.)
It is important to seek guidance from Elders and the Indigenous Peoples on whose lands you reside to gain clarity and meaning if you are have important questions about your own land acknowledgements. Below are a number of informative guides that might assist you in developing a personal land acknowledgement.
Capilano Student Union's Land Acknowledgement Guide: Focused and informative guide about land acknowledgements for Capilano University.
Doing Land Acknowledgments: A comprehensive guide from UBC's Decolonization & Anti-racism Guide.
Liberated Yet? Khelsilem’s Tips for Acknowledging Territory 1.0: Khelsilem tells it like it is - A thoughtful and provocative guide!
LISSA Land Acknowledgement, Template for Personalization, Definitions, and Speaker Protocol: This is an extremely helpful document from the University of Alberta's Library and Information Sciences Students' Association. Highly recommended!
CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers) Guide to Acknowledging First Peoples & Traditional Territory: This guide gives general guidance and includes examples of the official land acknowledgements of universities and colleges in Canada.
BCGEU Guide to First Nations Acknowledgement, Protocol & Terminology: This is from the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) and has some useful information on land acknowledgement practices.
Capilano University's current land acknowledgement on the website: Capilano University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation of the Coast Salish Peoples. We respectfully acknowledge that our campuses are located on the territories of the LíỈwat, xʷməθkʷəỷəm (Musqueam), shíshálh (Sechelt), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and SəỈílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.