School Boards across Ontario are demonstrating their commitment to Truth and Reconciliation by providing Land Acknowledgements that honour Indigenous Peoples and traditional lands. At the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB), we echo the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO) in their response to the Calls to Action through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
It is in this response that YCDSB acknowledges that for thousands of years, Indigenous Peoples have lived on this land. Acknowledging the territory where we gather and the people who have traditionally called this land home is one of the ways the YCDSB is participating in the actions necessary for Truth and Reconciliation.
YCDSB’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit Steering Committee (Indigenous Elders and YCDSB Board and school staff) developed a Land Acknowledgement Statement. This statement is inclusive of all Indigenous Peoples. It honours those who have walked this land, in the past, present, and those who will walk it in the future. It is a respectful validation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The YCDSB Land Acknowledgement will be embedded as a distinct school practice and will be recited at all large school community gatherings.
We are gathered on the ancestral lands and waters of all Indigenous Peoples, who have left their footprints on Mother Earth before us.
We respectfully acknowledge those who have walked on it, those who walk on it now, and future generations who have yet to walk upon it.
We pray to the Creator for strength and wisdom that all may continue to serve as stewards of the Earth.
For more information about the YCDSB Land Acknowledgement, please contact:
Michael Way Skinner
905.713.1211 ext. 13616
FNMI Steering Committee Chair
905.713.1211 ext. 13641