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RNAO’s work and the work of our members takes place on traditional Indigenous territories across Ontario. RNAO's home office is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, which is an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 under the Toronto Purchase Agreement with the Mississaugas of the Credit.

Today, this land is still the home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this territory. By personally making a land acknowledgement you are taking part in an act of reconciliation, honouring the land and Indigenous heritage, which dates back more than 10,000 years. We encourage you to learn about the land you reside on and the treaties that are attached to it. Land acknowledgements are an act of reconciliation and we must all do our part. 

What is a land acknowledgement and why is it important?

Disclaimer: RNAO is not an expert in land acknowledgements or treaties. The following information is from reputable organizations who partnered with Indigenous leaders and communities to inform their work.

A land acknowledgement is a verbal or written statement to recognize and honour the traditional Indigenous territories of a place. It pays respect to the land and shares the role Indigenous Peoples have had over history as its caretakers and their enduring presence and resilience. It encourages us to reflect on how we can walk along the path to reconciliation with the Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island (a.k.a. Canada). Land acknowledgements are just the first step towards reconciliation and part of a longer journey.

Land acknowledgements are made at the beginning of an in-person or virtual event. Consider also incorporating them into workplace meetings and creating a presentation slide to highlight land acknowledgements as well as displaying them on websites. They should be delivered by an individual who is familiar with the history and current realities of colonization of Indigenous Peoples on Turtle Island, the vital importance of cultural safe practices and a deep appreciation and understanding of their rich histories, cultures and important contributions. It is never appropriate to ask or expect someone who identifies as Indigenous to provide a land acknowledgement.

As an organization working towards allyship, RNAO is committed to its long-standing partnerships with Indigenous communities to address the impacts of racism and discrimination on their health and wellbeing. We also continue to advocate and support Indigenous leadership in nursing, health and health care.

Source: Behavioural Supports Ontario.

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