We also acknowledge that acknowledging territory is only the beginning. We recognize the land as an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory we reside on, and to honour the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important for us to understand the long-standing history that has brought us to reside on the land, and to seek to understand our place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation.
Beyond land acknowledgements, it is important for us as non-Indigenous people to commit ourselves to allyship with Indigenous communities. Allies must continually engage in self-reflection, and must consistently work at being an ally. There are many ways in which non-Indigenous people can begin the ongoing and continual process of acting in solidarity with Indigenous folks:
- Learn: About oppression and privilege. About the history of colonization. About Indigenous peoples and cultures. About the land you live on. To listen. There are many books, blogs, documentaries, Independent media sites, plays, and songs that Indigenous people have written and performed that are great places to start learning. Read the Truth and Reconciliation Final Report and consider how you can support the calls to action.
- Build relationships: Building relationships is a very important aspect of standing in solidarity. Research the happenings within the Indigenous communities in your area, get involved in the actions and conversations in these spaces.
- Act: By being accountable towards Indigenous people and communities by supporting what they are saying is important, aligning oneself with the struggle, and speaking up when something problematic is said.
As a charity providing treatment and support to those with body image issues and eating disorders, we acknowledge that Indigenous folks and Indigenous culture(s) are left out of body image and eating disorder spaces. This is true in terms of eating disorder research, eating disorder treatment, recovery spaces, and conversations surrounding stigma and support. It is our responsibility to work to de-colonize these spaces and create supportive environments for Indigenous peoples who desire support.
Find the land you occupy: https://native-land.ca/