Acknowledging the geographical territory where the Diocese of Ontario resides shows recognition of and respect for the Aboriginal Peoples who called this area home for thousands of years. It is recognition of their presence both in the past and the present and a way to continue to live out the church’s apologies to the First Peoples of North America. The acknowledgement supports our calls to others to pay respect to Indigenous peoples.
While acknowledging territory is very welcome, it is only a small part of cultivating strong relationships with the First Peoples of Canada. Acknowledging territory and First Peoples should take place within the larger context of genuine and ongoing work to forge real understanding, and to challenge the legacies of colonialism. A verbal acknowledgement is also appropriate when people are gathered (ie. meetings, worship, other parish events).
As Christians, we also offer our gratitude for the opportunity to share the land with Indigenous peoples as members of a church which has a conflicted history with Indigenous peoples, we commit ourselves to the ongoing process of reconciliation. You can express it by concluding the acknowledgement with something like the following:
We recognize the enduring presence of Indigenous peoples connected to and on this land. We are grateful for the opportunity to gather on this territory and work in this community, and we commit ourselves to the work of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
Territory that your parish is located on
Parishes within the Diocese of Ontario have begun to identify which territory/ies in which it resides and publish this in their Sunday bulletin and other parish resources. The land we know as South Eastern Ontario is the historic home of five tribes: Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Anishinabewaki, Algonquin, St. Lawrence Iroquoians.
To check on which bulletin insert is geographically relevant to your parish(es), click this link to a map https://native-land.ca/.
We encourage you to learn more about territorial acknowledgement at these links:
To read more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, click here: https://www.anglican.ca/tr/.