Letter to the editor: Creating a land acknowledgment sign for the cottage

land acknowledgement plaque Photo by Jason Fiorotto

This letter first appeared in the October 2021 issue of Cottage Life magazine.

I finished reading “Navigation Tools” (June/July ’21) and it was incredibly well-written and timely given the reckoning this country is undergoing with our treatment of Indigenous peoples. I’ve been taking the University of Alberta’s Indigenous Canada course online, which I believe should be required for every non-Indigenous Canadian. And my wife has done great work as an elementary school teacher to ensure that future generations of Canadians are better educated about Indigenous cultures.

We even, unbeknownst to the other, planned to create a land acknowledgment sign for our cottage in Haliburton, Ont. which we call Willow Woods. When I gave my wife a sign this past spring, her reaction wasn’t what I expected—she seemed a little disappointed. Turns out, she had planned to give me a similar sign for my birthday.

Producing the sign wasn’t easy, as I couldn’t find someone who specializes in them. And ensuring the words didn’t offend when the intent of the sign is to acknowledge, was also difficult. Thankfully, I could lean on friends with expertise for help. It was a fascinating experience, and one that’s helped me and my wife start conversations with visitors, who already appreciate the cottage, to also appreciate the land, water, air, and people that made it possible.—Jason Fiorotto, Glamor Lake, Ont.

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