REEL CANADA, like many allies, is committed to practicing ‘acknowledging territory’ at all of the festivals across the country. REEL CANADA believes acknowledging the traditional territory where we present our activities is a small step in demonstrating our deep recognition and respect for Indigenous peoples on whose traditional territories we are guests. Our organization believes this is one small action of many we can practice as a step toward reconciliation.
Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017, is a complicated celebration for Indigenous peoples as it is a limited period reflecting the occupation of Indigenous territories and the not so positive impacts since. As REEL CANADA approaches National Canadian Film Day 150 (NCFD 150), we reflect on this history in which we question our own participation as we carefully proceed to this annual event and sesquicentennial celebration.
REEL CANADA is encouraging all NCFD 150 partners to also consider the historic impacts of colonization and embrace this as our collective opportunity to re-envision a ‘Canada’ that centralizes Indigenous peoples historically, presently and within the future.
By practicing the acknowledgement of the historical and present Indigenous territory(s) within each NCFD 150 festival is one important step to this respectful recognition and centralization.
Acknowledging the custodial territories your event will take place in and is dependent on the Indigenous acknowledgement practice of the specific community(s). It is an opportunity for you to recognize you/your organization’s relationship with the Indigenous peoples of your direct community.
Following are REEL CANADA’s suggestions for you to use as a guide to ensuring you have the correct wording for your local event:
1. Interesting starting resource points:
- Indigenize Canada
- Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. – First Nation Protocol on Traditional Territory
- University of Calgary – Cultural Protocol Guidelines
2. Contact your local school board, city council, community hub as they may already have an acknowledgement statement that has been approved by local First Nations groups, and/or,
3. Connect with your local Friendship, Cultural, Language or Art Centre, and/or a local cultural leader or expert to ensure the accuracy of your acknowledgement, to help you with the pronunciation, and to inform you of any local protocols you may need to consider.
4. The following online databases may be helpful. Please keep in mind that these resources are not definitive; and it is always good to double-check your final copy.