- Prepare materials for one person to take notes and draft a land acknowledgement with (note pad and pencil or a laptop).
- Have the youth sit in a large circle and begin a conversation about land acknowledgements.
- Have the group create a unique heart-felt land acknowledgement using examples, the Whose Land app, and their own notes.
- Start a conversation about land acknowledgements by asking questions such as, “What is a land acknowledgement?”, “Have you ever seen or heard them done before? If so, where and when?”, “Why do you think people do land acknowledgements?”. Share an example of a land acknowledgement. Here is an example of a Land Acknowledgement created by the 1st Albion Scout Group in British Columbia (edited):
“Where we are standing (or calling in from if virtual), to the East – if we go far enough – we come to the majestic Rocky Mountains and the very edge of British Columbia. To the South we have the mighty Fraser River. The water provides food and the ability to travel great distances. To the West, we have the Pacific Ocean. The coastline and the ocean are full of mysteries and provide us with sustenance and opportunities for trade. To the North, we have the beautiful Golden Ears Mountains. Our 1st Albion Group knows these mountains well! We have played on them and are building amazing memories that we’ll always enjoy looking back at. 1st Albion Scouts is grateful to be here and grateful to the original caretakers of this land. We acknowledge we are on the unceded traditional shared territory of the Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations. Also, living and playing on this land are the Métis people, who have been historically displaced from their homelands. And so, before we begin today’s meeting/fun/celebration, we start by expressing our gratitude to the land and its original people. All my relations.”
Tip: Define “Unceded Territory”, the use of “All my relations” (Some Indigenous peoples use the phrase “All my relations” signifying a mindset that reflects people who are aware that everything in the universe is interconnected. It also reinforces that everyone and everything has a purpose, is worthy of respect and caring, and has a place in the grand scheme of life) and use the Whose Land app to find out who the original caretakers of the land you are on are.
- Designating one person to take notes, ask the group, “What parts of the land that we Scout on do you each appreciate the most?”
- As a group, identify/highlight which items would be most important to mention in the land acknowledgement.
- Using the example of a land acknowledgement, information from the Whose Land app, and important words from the notes taken, as a group write your own land acknowledgement. Then have a member read it out loud once completed.
- Ask the youth how they might want access to their land acknowledgement (e-mailed, individualize/personalize with artwork, printed and posted or framed and kept at the hall, etc.)
- What resonates with you most about the land acknowledgement that you all wrote together? How does it make you feel to read and speak these words and why?
- When in Scouting would it be appropriate to share your land acknowledgement?
- What is one thing that you know now that you didn’t know before or understand better now?
Note taking materials or a laptop.
Access to the internet and Whose Land or CAUT websites.
Optional: Projector screen
Keep it Simple
Explain what a land acknowledgement is and why it is an important step towards reconciliation. Share an example and the Whose Land app to find Indigenous Communities and Territories by City. Break the youth off into groups of three to write a land acknowledgement of their own. Have groups volunteer to read theirs
Take it Further
In addition, have youth also think about natural landmarks around them to include (such as ocean, mountains, forests, etc.). Have the youth personalize their land acknowledgement including their own connection to the land they Scout on. Invite youth to learn about the specific Indigenous communities that live where they also live and who are included in their land acknowledgement (what language(s) do they speak, what traditional foods do they eat, what traditions do they have? etc.). What organizations/businesses around you have a land acknowledgement that they share?