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Territorial Acknowledgement

HSA would like to acknowledge that our office is located on the unceded homelands of the Qayqayt First Nation (pronounced keekite) on whose territories we live and thrive on. Our union works and has members in unceded territories across the province. Unceded means that Aboriginal title to this land has never been surrendered or relinquished. 

The Qayaqyt First Nation is one of the smallest Frist Nations in Canada and one of a few registered without a land base. Kwantlen First Nation recognizes Qayqayt as a very significant part of their unceded traditional territory. As such, we are grateful and humble guests on this territory.

For additional resources on territorial acknowledgements and Indigenous rights, please see:

Indigenous Land Acknowledgements at HSA Events

A one-page primer developed by HSA to support members with conducting territorial acknowledgements at chapter meetings and other HSA events. 

First Peoples’ Language Map of BC 

An interactive map that demonstrates which Indigenous languages are spoken on territories across BC, while also listing the Indigenous nations of each corresponding region. The map is connected to a database that provides demographic information on each language. While BC is an incredibly diverse region linguistically, Indigenous languages across BC are under threat as a result of the legacy of colonization.

NativeLand.ca

A resource for identifying the Indigenous territories within Canada and beyond. The site is a living document that is updated as corrections are submitted. It includes search functions based off of territories, languages, and treaties. It includes a Teacher’s Guide.

The site also includes a page that examines why we acknowledge Indigenous territory, and good practices for doing Indigenous acknowledgements well. There is a search function based off of city/location to assist with territorial acknowledgements.

Findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Includes links to the final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Calls to Action report outlines 94 Calls to Action to reduce the legacy of violence and cultural erasure from the Canadian Residential Schools system.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

The UN Declaration was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007, at which time Canada, alongside 3 other nations, voted against its adoption and refused to ratify it. In 2016, Canada removed its permanent objector status to UNDRIP. In international law, declarations are nonbinding. UNDRIP outlines a state’s obligation to obtain “free, prior, and informed consent” in decisions that impact Indigenous lands.

What is the significance of acknowledging the Indigenous land we stand on?
Ramna Shahzad, July 15, 2017, CBC

Explores such questions as: How long have territorial acknowledgements existed? What does the acknowledgement mean to Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities? What is the purpose?  And how is it determined who is acknowledged?