Acknowledgement of Ancestral Lands

Artwork by Cedric Isaac, Bkejwanong Territory

Acknowledgement of Ancestral Lands 

The following Acknowledgement of Ancestral Lands has three components: yesterday, today, and tomorrow and reflects, in full circle, all that came before and all that comes after. 

We are thankful for the Creator’s gift of Mother Earth, providing everything we need for life:  air, water, land, and all of Creation. We acknowledge that this land, surrounded  by water, on which we are gathered today is part of the ancestral land of the Anishinaabeg and the Lunaapeewak. 

Together, as treaty people, we have a shared responsibility to act with respect for the environment, protecting the future for those generations to come.

Acknowledgement of Ancestral Lands Historical Background:  

We acknowledge that the Chippewa, Odawa, Potawatomi, known as the Anishinaabeg, and the Lunaapeewak, inhabited these lands at the time of the written treaties, these being: Treaty #2; Treaty #7; Treaty #25; Treaty #29. We also acknowledge the earlier Indigenous people who travelled these lands prior to 1790 in the time of the Wampum treaties. It is through their connection with the spirit of the land, water and air that we recognize their unique culture, traditions, and values. Today, we are part of the land that sustains all life, and it is the sacred responsibility of all people to ensure that the environment remains protected. Finally, we acknowledge that their inherent languages preclude any English/French meaning.

Language Pronunciations

               Anishinaabeg               Chippewa                      Lunaapeewak                Odawa                        Potawatomi                               

          (ah-nish-i-nah-beg)        (chip-uh-wah)                (le-naw-powuk)              (ō-dah-wah)          (pot-uh-wah-tuh-mee)       

Ancestral Lands Acknowledgement 

Elders Land Acknowledgement SCCDSB.mp4


Cecil Isaac, Bkejwanong Territory

David Plain, Aamjiwnaang First Nation

Deb and Barry Milliken, Kettle and Stony Point First Nation

Land Acknowledgement - Google Slides.webm

Youth Voice and Photos from SCCDSB Community Connected Experiences  (English)

Land Acknowledgement Francais.mp4

Youth Voice and Photos from SCCDSB Community Connected Experiences  (French)

Audio file of the Ancestral Lands Acknoweldgement

Ancestral Lands Acknowledgement with Historical Background included

UCC Land Acknowledgement 2021.mp4

SCCDSB Land Acknowledgement Resources

Land Acknowledgement
2020-2021 St. Clair Catholic District School Board Acknowledgement of Ancestral Lands with Watermark

Acknowledgement of Ancestral Lands Guidelines 

Acknowledgement of Ancestral Lands Guidelines

TRC Calls to Action




What's in a Name?

As the media and the government use terms to identify First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people, classrooms are left wondering about how to be the most respectful and to really have an understanding when talking about historical and contemporary communities. The first advice to offer, is to always ask the individual. By doing this, there will be so much learning through this seemingly simple question. In education and across many fields, we use and hear the words Indigenous, or First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people, Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, Chippewa, Lenape, Haudenosaunee, and more. While using the word Indigenous is respectful when talking about a topic that encompasses all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people, it shouldn’t stop there and be the only word used. There are some things that are only experienced or identified with either First Nations, Métis, or Inuit people, and by always using the word Indigenous, the unique identity becomes lost. Keep in mind that people may identify themselves by their connection to the land, to language, to clan responsibilities, spirit name, given name, and the learning about this happens through conversations. There are 634 First Nations in Canada (Canadian Encyclopedia), and much can be learned about many different First Nations, especially by thinking local. Let’s think about this in the context of our schools. The traditional territory our schools reside on is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe. The Lenape are also part of this area. To begin, there are four First Nations communities in the local area: Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Bkejwanong Territory, also known as Walpole Island First Nation, Eelunaapeewi Lahkeewiit also known as Moraviantown, and Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.

Aamjiwnaang First Nation, “it flows contrary” describing the current of the river, is a community of Ojibwe people (you’ll also hear people describe themselves as Chippewa or Anishinaabe). Bkejwanong Territory “where the waters divide”, also known as Walpole Island First Nation, is unceded territory where the people of the Three Fires Confederacy reside: the Ojibwe (the eastern door keepers), the Potawatomi (the firekeepers), and Odawa (the youngest brother) peoples and made up of six islands including Walpole Island: Squirrel Island, St. Anne Island, Seaway Island, Bassett Island, and Potawatomi Island. The Lenape people, or as they call themselves “the Lunaapeew”, live at what we commonly call Moraviantown or Delaware Nation, Eelünaapéewi Lahkéewiit , “where the Lenape are”. This is one of the oldest settlements in the region. The Lunaapeew settled in this area from Manhattan. The territory of Kettle Point, also known as Wiiwkwedong “where the land goes around in a bay”, and Stony Point, known as Aazhoodena “the part over there”, are part of the Anishinabek Nation and the people of Kettle and Stony Point are officially known as the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point. Wondering about a name? Ask. With this question, so much learning can happen! Learning about First Nations communities across Ontario and across Canada? Include the local context as part of the learning.   

Learn Local - Culture Card: A Road to Understanding 

This guide is a 4 year collaboration between local Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders, SCCDSB, and representatives from the municipality of Chatham-Kent. Printed copies of the pocket guide is in all schools.  This is a great personal learning resource and classroom tool! 


Learn More About the Local First Nations Communities 

Aamjiwnaang First Nation

David Plain, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, talks about Aamjiwnaang, "it flows contrary". 

David shares how places were named as a whole and talks about the meaning of Aamjiwnaang. 

This video is 6 min in length

Aamjiwnaang with David Plain.mp4

Bkejwanong Territory

Cecil Isaac, Bkejwanong Territory, talks about Bkejwanong, “where the waters divide”.

This video is 5 min in length.

Cecil Isaac Bkejwanong.mp4

Wiiwkwedong minwaa Aazhoondena: Kettle and Stony Point First Nation 

Deb and Barry Milliken, Kettle and Stony Point, talk about Kettle Point, also known as Wiiwkwedong “where the land goes around in a bay”, and Stony Point, known as Aazhoodena “the part over there”.

Note: This video has a natural pausing point at min 6. 30 to think about worldview and connection to place. 

This video is 12 min in length.

Deb and Barry Milliken Kettle and Stony Point Reflect about Home.mp4

Kettle Point also known as Wiiwkwedong is part of the Anishinabek Nation. Kettle Point is unceded territory located in southwestern Ontario along the south shore of Lake. Officially known as the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point. Stony Point is known as Aazhoodena. The land base consists of approximately 1,096 hectares that accommodates an on-reserve population of 2,108 persons.

Eelünaapéewi Lahkéewiit: Delaware Nation (Moravian of the Thames) 

Listen to an Unreserved Podcast Episode: The Lenape (New York City as the Ancestral Homeland of the Lenape)  

Land Acknowledgements: What are they and how can you personalize them?

Critical Thinking Lesson Ideas: Bringing the Land Acknowledgement to Life

Learn more here to create an acknowledgement from the heart of your classroom using this lesson idea!

Connecting with Place

Use this interactive map to show students where their school is located.  You can change what is displayed by choosing language, territories, and treaties. Think critically about where the lines are located on the map. What do you notice about where the lines are drawn on the map? 

What traditional territory are you on and what treaty covers it? is an interactive map showing treaties that apply on Turtle Island, also called North America. Take some time to reflect and answer the question: what action can I take to honour the land I am on?  

Unreserved with Rosanna Deerchild

Maps have long been called a tool of colonization. They've carved out pieces of Indigenous land and replaced them with neat lines of provinces and territories. But Indigenous cartographers are drawing back their places and names, using mapmaking to tell us the true story of what we now call Canada. 

In this interview, Richard Hill shares about the complexities of Haudenosaunee territory, wampum belt teachings, and his work to repatriate material culture to his community. 

Local Treaties that fall within the SCCDSB Land Acknowledgement 

We acknowledge that the Chippewa, Odawa, Potawatomi, known as the Anishinaabeg, and the Lunaapeewak, inhabited these lands at the time of the written treaties, these being: Treaty #2; Treaty #7; Treaty #25; Treaty #29. 

David Plain Local Treaties.mp4

David Plain, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Author and Historian, talks about the treaties local to this area. 

Learn more about Treaties and Wampum Belts on the Treaty Education Webpage:  

Turtle Island: What we now know as Canada