I was told once by a friend of mine – if you’re going to do a land acknowledgment, make it your own, make it real.
My last name is Walcott. It comes from one of the Walcott plantations in Barbados. The name itself hails from England, but as I assume you can likely guess, my family didn’t not acquire it through marriage but through ownership. Walcott is a slave name.
I do not know the land from which my family originates, I just know where we’ve settled. I grew up in Toronto on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. I was raised on Treaty 13 land signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.
Before that, my family settled in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People, and I acknowledge them as the past, present, and future caretakers of this land.
And now, I am a settler here on Moh’kinsstis. I do not know the land my family comes from. That was taken from me. But I know where I am and I would like to honour this land as my new home. As caretakers of this land, alongside so many others, it is with great respect my team and I offer this acknowledgement:
In the spirit of reconciliation, we would like to acknowledge the traditional territories and oral practices of the Blackfoot Nations, which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai. We also acknowledge the Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations, in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta as well as the Metis Region 3 and all the other nations.
We are all treaty people, and we must take serious our commitment to being stewards of this land today, and everyday following.