We are on
We acknowledge that we are in Kjipuktuk, colonially known as Halifax, which is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. We acknowledge our gratitude and the debt owed to the Mi’kmaq, who have been living on Turtle Island for over 13,000 years, for the opportunity to live and work on this land. We recognize that as settlers, we are not guests on this land, but the beneficiaries of a history of colonialism.
This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) People first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with surrender of lands and resources; but, in fact, recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations. The British founded the City of Halifax in 1749, in direct violation to the “1725 Drummer’s Treaty”, which acknowledged Mi’kmaq sovereignty and right to land ownership.
Our history of colonialism has resulted in the ongoing disenfranchisement and oppression of Indigenous peoples; this must be recognized and rectified. Canada must implement all 94 calls to action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015 and fully adopt the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which affirms the rights of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination, and recognizes and affirms Indigenous land title and rights. Only then can we begin true reconciliation with the Indigenous people of this land.
We encourage you, our audience, to contact your political leaders and demand that Canada fulfill these commitments, and we further encourage you to support Indigenous-led grassroots movements, such as the Treaty Truck House Against Alton Gas, and the Unist’ot’en camp supporting Wet'suwet'en Land Defenders. For more, see below.
For Further Learning:
On This Land
On Land Acknowledgements
On the Peace and Friendship Treaties
On Truth and Reconciliation
On the Treaty Truck House Against Alton Gas
On the Unist’ot’en Camp
The writing of this land acknowledgement has benefited from the following resources:
Lewis, Lara. “Welcome to Mi’kma’ki: A primer on Mi’kmaq history and culture for new residents of K’jipuktuk.”
The Coast, August 31, 2017. https://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/welcome-to-mikmaki/Content?oid=9135959
Canadian Association of University Teachers. “Guide to Acknowledging First Peoples & Traditional Territory.”
Accessed August 7, 2020. https://www.caut.ca/content/guide-acknowledging-first-peoples-traditional-territory.
Sipekne'katik First Nation. “History.” Accessed August 7, 2020. http://sipeknekatik.ca/history/
âpihtawikosisân. “Beyond Territorial Acknowledgements.”September 23, 2016.
Manuel, Arthur and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson. The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy. Toronto: Lorimer, 2017.