Schools adopt traditional land acknowledgments
Students at Nottawasaga and Creemore Public School are now making a daily acknowledgement of the traditional aboriginal lands they are on.
The acknowledgement is read by students each day during the morning announcements. The approved statements will be used at SCDSB meetings and significant events, and daily in all schools to respectfully acknowledge the Indigenous people of this territory, their sharing of the territory and the benefits we have received, as settlers, from that sharing.
“The acknowledgement of traditional territory in schools and at board events is an important act of reconciliation,” states Stuart Finlayson, Superintendent of Education Area 1/Indigenous Education/Parent Involvement. “It is a sign of respect for the First Nations people of Simcoe County, on whose land we stand.”
A land/territory acknowledgement is an act of respect and reconciliation, based on the First Nations’ tradition of acknowledging the land of others when they were guests in that territory.
“Simcoe County District School Board acknowledges that we are situated on the traditional land of the Anishnaabeg people. We acknowledge the enduring presence of First Nation, Métis and Inuit people on this land and are committed to moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation and respect,” states SCDSB.
The acknowledgement, approved by the Board of Trustees in October, was developed in partnership with the SCDSB’s First Nations Education Advisory Committee and local Indigenous partners. It is based on the acknowledgement created by the Georgian College Council of Elders and adapted for use in SCDSB schools.
A more formal acknowledgement was approved for board meetings and significant events.
The initiative was implemented across the county this month to mark Treaties Recognition Week (Nov. 5-11).
“All of us, whether we are Indigenous or non-Indigenous, are treaty people, and we have a responsibility to reinforce that understanding within our school communities,” said Principal of Indigenous Education Alison Bradshaw. “We can all benefit from learning about the histories, cultures, contributions and perspectives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada.”
The approved acknowledgement for board meetings and significant events reads: Simcoe County District School Board acknowledges that we are situated on the traditional land of the Anishnaabeg people. The Anishnaabeg include the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Pottawatomi nations, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. We are dedicated to honouring Indigenous history and culture and committed to moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation and respect with all First Nation, Métis and Inuit people.