How to be a Better Settler #11: Acknowledge traditional territory

Posted by

This post is being written in the traditional territory of the Lac Seul First Nation.

Acknowledging traditional territories is a simple and powerful way to acknowledge First Nations in Canada.

It’s a great thing to do as you open a major event, gala, or meeting, especially if it’s a public event.

It’s also a great thing to do as part of everyday work–monthly and weekly meetings at work, your school or your local club.

Here’s how to do it: Call up the local First Nation(s), tell them you would like to start acknowledging traditional territories, and ask them the best way to do that. Also ask them if there are other First Nations that you would need to acknowledge–there may be several in your area. If you are a national organization, you may need to tailor your acknowledgements to each of your regional offices, and/or the territories you work in.

Go one step further and create a formal policy or guide for your organization.

Better yet, install a permanent plaque at the entry to your club, organization or business so you are always acknowledging traditional territories and your First Nations neighbours.


This kind of gesture may seem small, but the mere act of acknowledgement is a step towards Reconciliation. It’s a step towards relationship-building. It opens the door to conversations. It means that you acknowledge that there is work to be done, and this may be a pretty good place to start.

Need help? I’m a culture broker. I do this for a living. Get in touch.