OUW Land Acknowledgement
A Land Acknowledgement should not be an empty gesture, but a commitment to decolonization and to understanding the history of Indigenous peoples and the role that settlers played and continue to play in colonization.
Reconciliation requires more than just words — it requires education and action. Unless we specifically articulate solidarity with decolonial initiatives, we risk participating in “processes of accumulation by dispossession, through capturing land, resources, and labour”.
We encourage learning about the history of the land we each now live on, how our personal histories might be intertwined with the structure of settler colonialism, and how we might work in support of unsettling, decolonization, and reconciliation. To that end, we recommend this website - www.whose.land – which hosts a web-based app that uses GIS technology to assist users in identifying Indigenous Nations, territories, and Indigenous communities across Canada.
We also encourage learning about state-sponsored and/or government attempts to support reconciliation, such as Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, its 94 calls to action to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, and the subsequent formation of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Finally, we recommend this website which provides those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of the “Indian Residential Schools” system with an opportunity to share their stories and experiences by connecting with the NCTR.
The Committee to Organize UWaterloo acknowledges that our organizing takes place on the traditional territories of the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples, including the Treaty Lands and Territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the lands of the Haudenosaunee of the Six Nations of the Grand River.
The Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge campuses of the University of Waterloo are located on the Haldimand Tract, land that was promised to the Haudenosaunee of the Six Nations of the Grand River, and was stolen by settlers from indigenous peoples not once but twice, and that theft and oppression continues to this day.
We unequivocally call for the material repatriation of land or giving land back. To find out how to support local Indigenous efforts toward land reclamation, please check these resources:
1492 Land Back Lane
- Six Nations Land Defenders who have mobilized to stop the Mackenzie Meadows housing development project bordering the town of Caledonia
- @LandBackLane (facebook)
Healing of the Seven Generations
- A Community Healing Strategy & Support Program serving the Waterloo area and focusing on healing the effects of the Residential School Legacy
As we enact our own collective and social movement to unionize TAs, RAs, and Sessional Instructors at the University of Waterloo, we recognize that none of this work would be possible without also being in solidarity with those working toward the establishment and maintenance of better worlds for all.