Effective date: October 15, 2021
Digital Designers ("us", "we", or "our") operates the Digital Designers http://www.digitaldesigners.ca website (hereinafter referred to as the "Service").
We, “Digital Designers” acknowledge that our website is hosted on Indigenous lands across Turtle Island, known as North America. All of our service at “www.digitaldesigners.ca” is brought to you from the unceded territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Wendot, and the Hau-den-o-shon-i people, in the place called Toronto. We join in the fight for justice, recognizing that there can be no real reconciliation without restitution.That entails seizing the assets of the big resource corporations and returning them to the commons.
Indigenous Affairs Office, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
City of Toronto Land Acknowledgement
We acknowledge the land we are meeting on is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.
Pronunciation as follows, Anishnabeg: (ah-nish-naw-bek), Haudenosaunee: (hoodt-en-oh-show-nee) and Métis: (may-tee).
What is a land acknowledgement and why do we do it?
A territorial or land acknowledgement involves making a statement recognizing the traditional territory of the Indigenous people(s) who called the land home before the arrival of settlers, and in many cases still do call it home. Indigenous peoples have been acknowledging the land at the start of gatherings, ceremonies and events for time immemorial. With the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, more non-Indigenous people are becoming aware of the importance.
Providing a land acknowledgement at the beginning of an event or meeting gives time for reflection and demonstrates recognition of Indigenous lands, treaties and peoples. It involves thinking about what happened in the past and what changes can be made going forward in order to further the reconciliation process. Land acknowledgements mark a small and important step in the process of reconciliation and building a positive relationship with Indigenous peoples. By making a land acknowledgement you are taking part in an act of reconciliation, honouring the land and Indigenous presence which dates back over 10,000 years.
Using and participating in a land acknowledgement is a way to recognize the enduring presence and resilience of Indigenous peoples in this area for time immemorial. They are also a reminder that we are all accountable to these relationships.
How to create an indigenous land acknowledgment statement?
Start with self-reflection. Before starting work on your land acknowledgment statement, reflect on the process:
Why am I doing this land acknowledgment? If you’re hoping to inspire others to take action to support Indigenous communities, you’re on the right track. What is my end goal? What do you hope listeners will do after hearing the acknowledgment? When will I have the largest impact? Think about your timing and audience, specifically.
Do your homework. Put in the time necessary to research the following topics:
- 1. The Indigenous people to whom the land belongs.
- 2. The history of the land and any related treaties.
- 3. Names of living Indigenous people from these communities.
- 4. Indigenous place names and language.
- 5. Correct pronunciation for the names of the Tribes, places, and individuals that you’re including.
Use appropriate language. Do not sugarcoat the past. Use terms like genocide, ethnic cleansing, stolen land, and forced removal to reflect actions taken by colonizers.
Use past, present, and future tenses. Indigenous people are still here, and they are thriving. Do not treat them as a relic of the past.
Land acknowledgments should not be grim. They should function as living celebrations of Indigenous communities. Ask yourself, “How am I leaving Indigenous people in a stronger, more empowered place because of this land acknowledgment?” Focus on the positivity of who Indigenous people are today.
Do not ask an Indigenous person to deliver a “welcome” statement for your organization. If you reach out for help, lead the conversation by asking an Indigenous person what you can do for them. Chances are, they are likely overworked and could use your help.
Build real, authentic relationships with Indigenous people. In addition to normal employment and family obligations, Indigenous people are working to heal their traumas, learn their languages, and support their nations.
Compensate Indigenous people for their emotional labor. If you do plan to reach out to an Indigenous person or community for help, compensate them fairly. Too often, Indigenous people are asked to perform emotional labor for free.
Understand displacement and how that plays into land acknowledgment. Land acknowledgment is complicated. Remember that the United States and Canada displaced many Tribes from land before treaties were signed.
There are many types of land acknowledgments. Do not expect to find a specific formula or template. Land acknowledgment statements may vary place to place and one organization to another. Please contact your nearest Indigenous Affairs Office to ensure your statement meets the standards of best practice pertaining to National Truth and Reconciliation Initiatives.
Land acknowledgment alone is not enough. It’s merely a starting point.
Some examples of ways to take action:
- 1. Donate your time or money to Indigenous organizations.
- 2. Provide skills training for workers, students and community members.
- 3. Sponsor Indigenous-led grassroots change movements and campaigns. Encourage others to do so.
- 4. Commit to returning land. Local, state, and federal governments around the world are currently returning land to Indigenous people.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this Land Acknowledgement statement, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line "Land Acknowledgement".
Digital Designers, Toronto, Ontario, Canada