Carleton University acknowledges the location of its campus on the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin nation. In doing so, Carleton acknowledges it has a responsibility to the Algonquin people and a responsibility to adhere to Algonquin cultural protocols.
Why and When to Provide a Territory Acknowledgement
Territory acknowledgements have become commonplace in many postsecondary institutions and demonstrates respect for the traditional custodians of a particular region or area. The practice has gained popularity because it serves to remind people who are not Indigenous that they are guests in these territories, and that these territories had complex and culturally specific legal, governance, education and justice systems prior to the creation of Canada.
It serves to reframe relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in a way that acknowledges Indigenous people have inherent rights to their territories.
Carleton University faculty, staff and students are encouraged to acknowledge the first peoples on whose territory they are gathered when hosting events or meetings.
Acknowledging territory in the Ottawa area shows recognition and respect for the Omamiwininiwag (Algonquin people in the Algonquin language).
Territory acknowledgements appropriately take place at the commencement of conferences, workshops, public lectures, presentations and other events held at Carleton.
Making a Territory Acknowledgment
An acknowledgement of the host territory can be shared at any point but it is most common for the host or chair of a meeting or gathering to provide this.
Algonquin Territory Acknowledgement Examples
“We/I would like to acknowledge the Algonquin nation whose traditional and unceded territory we are gathered upon today.”
“We/I would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin nation.”
Even more meaningful would be for the host to explain why they are making the acknowledgement. This is a practice strongly recommended by the Centre for Indigenous Initiatives.
Speaking Events Outside the Ottawa area
For speaking engagements taking place in other parts of the Ontario or across Canada, it is important to determine which Indigenous territory you are visiting. A good source for this information is often the Centre or Office of Indigenous Initiatives at universities or colleges in the area. They often have this information on their websites.