We acknowledge that we are meeting on Indigenous land that has been inhabited by Indigenous Peoples from the beginning. Specifically, we acknowledge that we are meeting on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe Peoples. This territory is covered by the Williams Treaties. This land remains home to many Indigenous Peoples – First Nations, Metis, and Inuit from across Turtle Island and as settlers, we are grateful to be here.
We acknowledge this land out of respect for the generations of Indigenous Peoples who have taken care of this land for thousands of years as stewards, since time immemorial, and before and after settlers’ arrival. We acknowledge that it is our responsibility to conduct ourselves accordingly by showing gratitude to Indigenous Peoples through our actions and words and respecting them and the Seven Grandfather Teachings of wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, and truth.
We have come to understand that Indigenous Peoples have a profound spiritual connection to the land, that goes beyond land ownership or simply seeing it as a place to live. We recognize that Indigenous Ancestors live on in the land, water, and sky supporting and giving strength to current and future generations. We also recognize and deeply appreciate their connection, and the contributions made, both in shaping and strengthening this land. We acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment, broken promises, broken treaties, and a lack of friendship with the Indigenous Peoples. This history, our history, is something that we are all directly and indirectly affected by as we are all treaty people in Canada.
As settlers, we commit to learning, understanding, and sharing the true history of this land, by understanding the effects of colonization, as well as supporting actions for change, through honest and meaningful communication. Examples of the injustices of colonization include the ongoing fight for justice for the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Children, and Two-Spirited People across our country, and the innocence and lives lost to the Indian Residential and Day Schools and the Sixties Scoop.
We make a collective commitment today to make the promise and the challenge of truth and reconciliation, real in this community. We will do this by ensuring that we listen to the voices of Indigenous Peoples, as we believe that they, like everyone else have the right to be treated with compassion, dignity, and respect. Indigenous Peoples have the right to self-determination and to determine the services they need. We pledge to be always accountable to our Indigenous clients, partners, and the Indigenous community for our words, actions, and the quality of service we provide. As our past has defined our present, moving forward as friends and allies, we will define our future.