Land acknowledgements in public libraries: A resource for educating staff and patrons

Public libraries can be a useful resource for educating the community about issues that affect Indigneous Peoples in what is now known as Canada, such as Land sovereignty. Along with providing a comprehensive and well-organized collection of Indigenous materials, public libraries can provide guidance on relationality with the Land and more-than-humans. The significance of Land acknowledgements in respecting these relationships as a step toward decolonization. This poster will provide information on how Treaties were formed and  how to construct a Land acknowledgement in a simple and respectful manner. It is intended to be used by both staff and patrons, and will include instruction on where to find information regarding local Land Treaties.

Land acknowledgement examples

My name is Vanja, and I immigrated to what is now known as Canada when I was 6 years old. I currently live In Pelham, Ontario, which is located on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. This Land is governed by the Upper Canada Treaties and is protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Agreement. This region’s First Nations history is an essential part of our heritage and shared future.

Michelle Falk is a White, Settler woman living on Treaty One Territory, the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene, and Homeland of the Métis Nation. She currently works in the non-profit sector as an Executive Director of an organization focused on human rights education initiatives. She is currently working on the MLIS with the hopes of applying her human rights background to an information environment.  

Vanja Trivanovic (she/her) holds a BA and MA in English Literature from Brock University, and is currently pursuing an MLIS through the University of Alberta. She has been working in public libraries for two years, and is interested in acquisitions and collections as well as subject librarianship in academic libraries.