The University of Waterloo (including the Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge campuses) is situated on the Haldimand Tract, land that was promised to the Haudenosaunee of the Six Nations of the Grand River, and is within the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples.
FAUW is making it a practice to publicly acknowledge the history of the land we are situated on in order to re-visibilize Indigenous peoples, whose existence and struggles have been largely absent from the Canadian consciousness for hundreds of years, and also to collectively reflect on our role in repairing our nation’s relationship with the original inhabitants of Turtle Island (Canada).
Our ability to be working and living here now—in Waterloo Region, in Ontario, in Canada—is a direct benefit of policies of expulsion and assimilation of Indigenous peoples during the time of settlement and Confederation, and since. The harms of these policies are many and are still being felt in Indigenous communities today.
We have a responsibility, as such beneficiaries, to acknowledge and understand this history and the current experiences of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, and for this understanding to inform the work that we do, so that, first, we can stop perpetuating the damages of colonization, and, second, to begin to repair them. Land acknowledgements are just one small, first step in doing this work.