Acknowledging Land, Acknowledging Relationships: Engaging in reflective practice to prepare meaningful, respectful, and appropriate Indigenous Land Acknowledgements

When and Where

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
Art History Common Room; Room SS6029
Sidney Smith Hall
100 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 3G3


Jacqueline Briggs


Indigenous Land Acknowledgements have become more common in recent years, especially in universities which seek to meaningfully respond to the 2015 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools, and the 2019 Calls to Justice of the MMIWG Inquiry. Some acknowledgments have been criticized as perfunctory because they use formal language and offer little information about the speakers' relationship to Indigenous peoples. This workshop will enable participants to create meaningful, respectful, and appropriate acknowledgements.

The goals of this workshop are to: 1) demonstrate why acknowledgements are important; 2) tackle the 'fear' issue (many of us are afraid to get it 'wrong') and to explain why non-Indigenous persons can and should make acknowledgements; 3) to engage in reflection and provide tools and resources to create thoughtful acknowledgements that showcase our individual and organizational/institutional commitments to respectful relationship-building with Indigenous individuals and communities.

Through a combination of presented materials, guided circle discussion, and written personal reflection, workshop participants will begin the reflective process of developing their own acknowledgements to use in their teaching, meetings, and discussions with communities outside the university.

Presenter Bio: Jacqueline Briggs is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. Her research focuses on the Department Indian Affairs' involvement in the criminal justice system. She holds a certificate in Decolonizing Education from the Centre for Indigegogy, Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she continues to learn how to respectfully incorporate Indigenous knowledge into research, teaching and learning practices.

Acknowledging Land event poster