Land Acknowledgement

"Land Acknowledgements are formal statements that recognize the unique and enduing relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories, prior to colonization and the arrival of settlers.  

Recognizing this land expresses gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and honours the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial" (Laurier).

A land acknowledgement acts as a form of reconciliation, by demonstrating respect and recognition for Indigenous peoples.

Land acknowledgements vary in wording, but generally contain statements to honour the people and the land that is being resided on.  

Almost every university across Canada has a land acknowledgement. Additionally, many organizations and businesses are including land acknowledgements on their websites and/or in their establishments. 

It is important to take some time to learn about the history of the land that you are on. See here for Treaty information and Residential school information


Land Acknowledgement from the Strategic Plan:

Lakehead University respectfully acknowledges its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples.

Lakehead Thunder Bay is located on the traditional lands of the Fort William First Nation, Signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850. Lakehead Orillia is located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg. The Anishinaabeg include the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Pottawatomi nations, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy.

Lakehead University acknowledges the history that many nations hold in the areas around our campuses, and is committed to a relationship with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples based on the principles of mutual trust, respect, reciprocity, and collaboration in the spirit of reconciliation.


Terms commonly seen in land acknowledgements (from UBC)

Traditional: recognizes lands traditionally used and/or occupied First Nations/First Peoples.

Ancestral: recognizes land that is handed down from generation to generation.

Unceded: refers to land that was not turned over to the Crown by a treaty or other agreement. 


Further reading: 

Apihtawikosisan "Beyond Territorial Acknowledgements" 

Canadian Association of University Teachers' "Guide to Acknowledging First Peoples & Traditional Territory"

Laurier Students' Public Interest research Group "Know the Land: Territories Campaign"

Stephen Marche "Canada's Impossible Acknowledgement" (7 September 2017) 

Ramna Shahzad (CBC News) "What is the significance of acknowledging the Indigenous land we stand on?" (15 July 2017)

UBC "What is a land acknowledgement"