The Importance of Flying Treaty Flags and Land Acknowledgement.
Land Acknowledgements are Important. Here’s Why.
Have you ever thought about the land on which we stand? The land on which we live, work, play, grow and love has a past. The footsteps that treaded here before us belonged to a culturally beautiful and rich people. A people who were supposed to be forgotten because of prolonged and intentional attempts by Church and Government to assimilate or annihilate them.
If we are going to make real and measurable attempts to repair the relationship and reverse some of the damage done to indigenous communities in Canada, we need to participate in land acknowledgements.
Land acknowledgements are an honest and historically accurate way to recognize the traditional First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit territories of a particular place. Land acknowledgments can be presented verbally or visually, through signage, the raising of a treaty flag and a short greeting before the address of any audience. Land acknowledgements commemorate indigenous peoples’ principle kinship to the land and help frame the discussion around how land is seen and discussed. It also defines how institutions and people frame themselves in relation to First Nations Peoples.
As mentioned in the 94 Recommended Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, land acknowledgements are a fundamental first step towards honouring and recognizing the First Nations that occupied the land before us. When we acknowledge land rights, we also take steps to develop respect for the Indigenous peoples’ beliefs about the land, beliefs that we're silenced until now.
What can I do?
Flying a Treaty Flag and/or a Métis flag outside of your place of business is a great way to acknowledge the land on which you stand.
Check out this article that explains, in detail, why it is important to acknowledge the land and what it means to the indigenous community with whom we share the land. https://locallove.ca/issues/what-are-land-acknowledgements-and-why-do-they-matter/#.X1kxidNKjOQ
Next time you are gathered as a group, meaningfully acknowledge the First Nations people and the Territory on which you gather. A guide to this can be found here https://www.caut.ca/sites/default/files/caut-guide-to-acknowledging-first-peoples-and-traditional-territory-2017-09.pdf
Check out how Edmonton Public Schools carried out their raising of the Treaty 6 and Métis flags outside of their central building:
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