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Day 4: Learning the Land

The land of Turtle Island holds knowledge, stories, our histories, and our futures. Today is about engaging ourselves in our relationship to place. Take time to learn the knowledge of the lands you live upon and the communities who have resided on these lands since time immemorial. 

Learning Traditional Territories

Acknowledging the communities whose traditional territories we reside upon and whose resources we use is one of the first steps towards reconciliation. These acknowledgements bring awareness to the peoples who have stewarded the land since time immemorial. However, acknowledgements should also bring about learning and action. How much do we know about the peoples we have acknowledged? Have we listened to their stories and histories? Have we learned about the original names of these lands? Today, it’s important we start asking these questions. That we take the time to introduce ourselves to the communities whose land we work, live, and play upon.

Land We Are On: A Presentation about Land Acknowledgement Statements and What They Mean

Where to Learn about Territories?

The First People’s Map of B.C. is a great source of information! It includes the names of nations, languages spoken, and identifies Indigenous cultural spaces.  

Websites such as Native Land, Whose Land, and the Map of First Nations Reserves and Métis Settlements in Alberta are also helpful aids in identifying the traditional territories we reside upon.   Learning directly from the nations whose territory you reside upon is also a great way to learn. Most nations have a website that includes information about their languages, histories, cultures, and the territory. Here are just a few examples of nation websites from the nations of territories that CityU campuses across Canada reside upon:

Tsuut’ina Nation  Métis Nations  Siksika Nation   Musqueam Nation  Tsleil-Waututh Nation   Songhees Nation    

Learning from the Land

It is important to acknowledge the territories and to learn about the land we live upon. But, it is also important to learn from the land. The land is a source of knowledge and understanding. Recognizing we are in a relationship with the land that is based on respect and reciprocity, allows us to hear the knowledge the land has to share. Learning from the land is a concept of engaging with the land, not just talking about it. Which makes writing about this part of the learning series a challenge. Learning from the land means going out and meaningfully connecting to it.

Places to Visit:

There are many cultural spaces to learn more about the communities and territories that we reside upon. Below are a few examples of cultural centres that offer opportunities to learn more:  

And now, the 4 Days of Learning series has come to a close. Thank you for joining on this journey. But, this is not the end. Let the learning continue – there are many ways and spaces to learn and to be an active partner in reconciliation.

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