Acknowledging the Land_Open to Learn - O34ME 10Jan22 Council Meeting
Good afternoon, Everyone.
I’d like to begin today’s meeting with a declaration.
As a settler, I know I have much work to do to decolonize my own approach to teaching and learning, and to share this with my colleagues. Much of this work will need to be, I believe, rooted in listening, in feeling, in honoring the land and its people, and co-creating welcoming and safe spaces, with our Indigenous partners over time.
I acknowledge that I will be making some mistakes along the way, and I know that I will need your support moving forward. I am glad to be continuing my journey with our Council, and I fully believe that this is not only a good way forward, but it will be critical to how we disrupt oppressive practices and spaces through Education--Education that relates the histories of Indigenous peoples and their current realities--that we might reconcile the past, leading towards lasting partnerships.
Today, I am facilitating our meeting from the small rural village of Chesterville in the Township of North Dundas. Through the village of Chesterville flows the South Nation River--a river that is tributary to the Ottawa River at Plantagenet. This river, teeming with a life of its own, supports both moments of relaxation and play for myself, my family, and friends. At times, I’ll be reading or enjoying an outdoor fire and movie night with friends and family, kayaking with my son,
and fishing with my neighbours. Even in the winter, the river provides a wonderful space for snow-shoeing and ice-fishing.
For as much enjoyment the river provides, I am only able to do so because of the treaty agreement between the Indigenous peoples of this land and the Crown. This Treaty region is commonly known as “Crawford’s Purchases” of 1783, which “...were designed to
provide land to Loyalists who fought on behalf of the British during the American
Revolution, including Indigenous allies and United Empire Loyalists” (ontario.ca).
I recognize that the lands in this region of the Treaty are those of the Haudensonee, the Anishinabewaki, the Mohawk, the Algonquin (unceded, Ottawa), and the Wendake-Nionwentsïo (nee-yon-wan-gee-oh; the Wendake are part of the Iroquoian linguistic family and would have similar pronunciation as Mohawk).
Please take these next few moments to acknowledge the land you’re on, its people and
connections to the land.
<Pause to Reflect>
I am grateful for this leadership opportunity and your being here today, and I wish you all the very best.