You’ve probably noticed a lot more land acknowledgements these days, part of an effort to recognize the traditional boundaries of the First Nations that still reside on land throughout cottage country. These phrases have become commonplace at public gatherings throughout the country, and are considered a first step, the bare minimum required to start the reconciliation process. The Truth and Reconciliation report contains numerous recommendations about land acknowledgements.
Indeed, land acknowledgements are appreciated by Indigenous peoples. The Anishinabek Nation, for example, actively encourages them and are willing and even eager to share information about their land and culture. An excerpt from the Anishinabek Nation website reads:
“We recommend reaching out to your neighbouring or closest First Nation since you should be building a relationship with that First Nation. They will also help you with local dialect for the correct pronunciation of certain words in their specific language. Within the Anishinabek Nation, there are varying dialects of Anishinaabemowin. We also have Lenape and Algonquin speakers.”
If you have ever wondered about the land that your cottage is on, there’s an online tool to help you learn. Native-land.ca, has rough outlines of where traditional territories begin and end. The mission of their project is outlined on the website:
“We aim to improve the relationship of people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, with the land around them and with the real history and sacredness of that land.”
After all, it’s your home, but it is on Native land. It’s a first step, but one that we should all be taking.