Brock University acknowledges the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, many of whom continue to live and work here today. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Agreement.
Today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous people.
We wish to recognize the collaborative and thoughtful work of the Aboriginal Education Council in developing the above Land Acknowledgement, which was the cumulation of ten (10) years of discussions. We also wish to emphasize that the “dish” in the Wampum agreement represents the land that is to be shared peacefully; the “spoon” represents the individuals living on and using the resources of the land. This agreement is one that celebrates the spirit of reciprocity and we recognize that such an agreement creates space for the awareness of ecological and environmental sustainability, along with the responsibility to ensure that the dish is never emptied as we take care of the land and all the living beings on it.
We further recognize that acknowledging Indigenous peoples and their lands can serve to remind us at Brock University that our great standard of living is directly related to the colonial legacy which has significantly impacted Indigenous peoples. It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought us to reside on these lands and that we must seek understanding of our place within this history.
We understand that colonialism is an ongoing affair, and we must build upon our awareness of our present participation within it, as well as find meaningful ways to support contemporary shifts towards decolonization, such as abolishing the Indian Act, enacting the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and supporting the development of basic infrastructure in Indigenous communities. Thus, we acknowledge and respect the long history and cultural traditions of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, and we are committed to maintaining and building relationships based on the principles of solidarity, respect, reciprocity, and collaboration in the spirit of indigenization at Brock University.
Finally, we wish to emphasize that land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense nor historical contexts, as it was mentioned that the acknowledgement above was the product of a decade of collaboration and cooperation between Indigenous education communities in the Golden Horseshoe. As researchers on these lands, we encourage our membership to take daily action through learning and spreading awareness of contemporary moves towards decolonization, which ask us to stand as allies to the original stewards of the land and to support, empower, and amplify the voices of Indigenous communities in their ongoing struggle against colonial systems of oppression.
The Hadiyaˀdagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre at Brock is focused on providing a welcoming, supportive and inclusive environment for Aboriginal students and visitors to the campus. Their goal is to help all Aboriginal students, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit, make the transition to the Brock University community, and to provide support and resources to enhance students’ academic success and cultural identity at Brock.
Created by Native Land Digital, a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization, the Native Land Interactive Map is a website dedicated sharing education about Indigenous lands around the globe. You can use the map by entering your address or by mousing or clicking around on the map to see the relevant territories in a location.