Historically Canada, and more generally North America, did not treat the native people with respect. When colonizers settled on the land and claimed ownership they ignored the rights of the native people already living there.
Land and ownership disputes are not the only issues that native people face today. We cannot undo the wrongs but we can try and reconcile with the native peoples; as such, I encourage you to learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
You can help.
How? Start by acknowledging the history of the land you live and work on. You can find a helpful guide and search to find out the history of the land you are currently occupying.
Demonstrate Respect and Raise awareness by adding land acknowledgements to your presentations and email signatures. Call your local elected official and express your support for ongoing government programs. Donate, volunteer, and support peaceful legal protests and campaigns.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada “Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people.” The previous sentence is Dalhousie University’s acknowledgement statement that encourages the community to acknowledge the history of the land and reflect critically on the genocide of the Indigenous peoples.
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada I would like to acknowledge that the land on which we work and live today is the land traditionally used by the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. I recognize that the University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometres on each side of the Grand River. I also acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws and philosophies of the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today.
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada From the Peel Board Website: “We would like to begin by acknowledging the land on which we gather, and which the Region of Peel operates, is part of the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples inhabited and cared for this land, and continue to do so today. In particular we acknowledge the territory of the Anishinabek, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Ojibway/Chippewa peoples; the land that is home to the Metis; and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation who are direct descendants of the Mississaugas of the Credit. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land, and by doing so, give our respect to its first inhabitants”