Territorial Acknowledgement

HSA would like to acknowledge that our office is located on the unceded homelands of the Qayqayt First Nation (pronounced kuh-kite) on whose territories we live and thrive . 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 Qayqayt First Nation is one of the smallest First 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:

Towards Meaningful Territorial Acknowledgements

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.

Whose Land

A web-based app that uses GIS technology to assist users in identifying Indigenous Nations, territories, and Indigenous communities across Canada. The site also includes educational videos and will eventually host land acknowledgement videos from Indigenous communities.

Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women - Vol. A, Vol. B

As a result of systemic violence, thousands of Indigenous women and girls have gone missing across Canada. This violence is both historic and ongoing. The National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls called this violence "a national tragedy of epic proportion" and a "deliberate and often covert campaign of genocide against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people."

Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or go missing than any other women in the country. The national inquiry was mandated to investigate all forms of systemic violence against Indigenous women and girls. This report documents the testimonies and sacred truths provided to the commission, which 3,000 Indigenous families called on the government to deliver. 

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?