Land Acknowledgment

On July 2023, the Council of the County of Frontenac adopted the following Land Acknowledgment to be read at the beginning of meetings held by the County of Frontenac, including County Council and Advisory Committee meetings:

We begin this gathering by acknowledging and celebrating these traditional lands as a gathering place of the first peoples and their ancestors who are entrusted to care for mother earth since time immemorial.  We do so respecting both the land and the Indigenous People who continue to walk with us through this world.  Today, the County is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Background Report to Frontenac Councils: Report 2023-086, 19 July 2023.

In September, 2021, a report was sent to County Council, with similar reports presented to Township Councils regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action and Municipal Recognition of September 30th as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

At that time, County Council committed to recognizing September 30th as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (National Orange Shirt Day) as well as authorized staff to work with the Frontenac Municipalities to proceed with the investigation of options for the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, including a Land Acknowledgment for adoption by the County, which included reaching out to the Indigenous Community in Frontenac to guide the County in its decision making process.

As noted in the report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was established as one of the outcomes of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) between the Government of Canada, the churches, the survivors of the residential schools system and various Indigenous organizations in 2007. The purpose of the TRC was to rectify the legacy of residential schools and further the process of reconciliation in Canada. Over six years, the TRC recorded testimonies from over 6,000 survivors, and their families, and created a historical record of the residential schools system.

The TRC presented 94 Calls to Action as part of its final report, thirteen of which apply to all levels of government, and five that are directly within the authority of a municipal government. Municipalities across the country have implemented various actions to answer this important call. 

Adopting a Land Acknowledgement is one of several acts of Reconciliation the County is able to take on the path through reconciliation.  A territorial or land acknowledgement is an act of reconciliation that involves making a statement recognizing the traditional territory of the Indigenous people who called the land home before the arrival of settlers.  Inspired by the Calls to Action contained in the TRC, land acknowledgements are a necessary first step toward honouring the original occupants of a place. They also help Canadians recognize and respect Indigenous peoples’ inherent kinship beliefs when it comes to the land.  When developing a land acknowledgment, it is important to understand:

➢      The Indigenous people to whom the land belongs.

➢      The history of the land and any related treaties.

➢      Names of living Indigenous people from these communities.

➢      Indigenous place names and language.

➢      Correct pronunciation for the names of the Tribes, places, and individuals that you’re including.

Responding to these Calls to Action furthers Reconciliation within the County and helps move the County forward in meaningful partnerships with its Indigenous Community partners and residents.