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Land Acknowledgement (Essay Sample)


Paper instructions: Land acknowledgement assignment: Our second longer written assignment for this semester is an extension of something we did in our first class. I am asking you to write an individual land acknowledgement, and then to write a short reflection on the choices you made with the land acknowledgement. Land acknowledgements have the potential to be an important early step on the road to challenging the colonialism that shapes post-secondary education in Canada. For this assignment, I want you to write your own, to acknowledge the Indigenous nations whose territory you live on, as well as the territory we are learning on at UFV. This land acknowledgement can be inspired by UFV’s (or any other existing institutional acknowledgement), but I would like you to write it in your own words, and to relate it specifically to you and what you are willing to do to make that land acknowledgement meaningful. Hayden King, who wrote Ryerson University’s official territorial acknowledgement, has suggested that the way to prevent such acknowledgements from becoming superficial is to link them to an obligation or commitment on the part of the person delivering the acknowledgement. Therefore I would like you to include such an obligation or commitment. It does not have to be a huge or revolutionary promise – just a commitment you make at this time to honour your responsibilities to the Indigenous nations on whose land you live and learn. Once you have written the acknowledgement, I want you to write a reflection about it and how you chose to construct it. Have you ever delivered a territorial acknowledgement before? What did you think about when writing it? How does it reflect your values and feelings about the relationship between institutions like UFV (and UFV students) and Indigenous nations, especially the Stó:lō? How does it reflect your own personal values? The length of the reflection depends on the grade range you are aiming for (see below). As always, you will be graded on your effort, though I will offer comments on your writing and explanation. I would also ask that you use APA style referencing throughout, for the practice – I will not grade your citation, but it is good to try it out.
So the paper should include:
A personalized land acknowledgement that covers the territory where you live (and/or the territory UFV is on), and includes an associated commitment that you make in relation to reconciliation, the Indigenization of UFV, and/or the recognition of Indigenous sovereignty. The length of this can really vary, and it may require a source or two depending on its content. A reflection on the writing of that acknowledgement which explores your feelings and thoughts about it, and includes specific references to material from the reading list below, as well as sources that you have found in your own research (depending on the grade level you choose, the number will vary). All of this should be written in the first person, and can be informal, but should include references in APA format (just for practice).

Grade range

A. Your land acknowledgement and reflection will draw on at least three sources (at least one of which you have found with your own research), and your reflection will be at least 750 words long.
B. Your land acknowledgement and reflection will draw on two sources (at least one of which you have found with your own research), and your reflection will be at least 500 words long.
C. Your land acknowledgement and reflection will draw on one source (that I have provided), and your reflection will be at least 250 words long.


Land Acknowledgment
Student Name
Professor Name
Land acknowledgment is a fundamental aspect of the lives of Indigenous communities and their lands in Canada. Finegan (2018) asserts that they tend to be considered as partners, which is a significant way they are acknowledged for their native property in terms of appreciation and showing gratitude. In most cases, it is a practice that aid in showing respect for their hard work and immeasurable contribution to the rich history of their land. Respecting and recognizing the ideas and beliefs of Indigenous people is a crucial component of Canada’s goal towards equality, diversity, and inclusion.

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