Canadian University Acknowledgment of Indigenous Lands, Treaties and Peoples

by Rima Wilkes (Author)

At many Canadian universities it is now common to publicly acknowledge Indigenous lands, treaties, and peoples. Yet, this practice has yet to be considered as a subject of scholarly inquiry. How does this practice vary and why? In this paper we describe the content and practice of acknowledgment, linking this content to treaty relationships (or lack thereof). We show that acknowledgment tends to be one of five general types: of land and title (British Columbia), of specific treaties and political relationships (Prairies), of multiculturalism and heterogeneity (Ontario), of no practice (most of Quebec), and of people, territory, and openness to doing more (Atlantic). Based on these results, we conclude that the fluidity of acknowledgment as a practice, including changing meanings depending on the positionality of the acknowledger, need to be taken into account.

For additional information: Canadian Review of Sociology

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