WELLAND – This week’s City of Welland council meeting, Tuesday evening, began with a new land acknowledgement.
A land acknowledgement is a formal statement and act of reconciliation involving the recognition of the traditional territory of the Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of the land and the enduring relationship between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
“When we talk about Truth and Reconciliation, we have to do more than just talk; we have to act,” said Mayor Frank Campion. “On September 30, we saw the outpouring of acknowledgement to Truth and Reconciliation, and with it a necessary call to action. As the City of Welland acts, we begin with instituting a new land acknowledgement before each Council meeting.”
Updating the land acknowledgement improves local understanding and relationships with First Nations communities and those living off-reserve in Welland. It is enacted based on consultation, led by the Niagara Region, with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council, and leaders from the Niagara Indigenous Community Executives.
The new land acknowledgement read before council meetings is as follows:
Welland is situated on treaty land. This land is steeped in the rich history of the First Nations such as the Hatiwendaronk the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinaabe, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. There are many First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people from across Turtle Island that live and work in Welland today. Welland stands with all Indigenous people, past and present, in promoting the wise stewardship of the lands on which we live.
(Source: City of Welland news release)