As of May 12, 2020, the Truth and Reconciliation Response Projects website is being migrated to the Indigenous Initiatives pages on the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion website. Please visit Indigenous Initiatives for the latest updates on the University of Waterloo's Indigenous initiatives and strategy.

About territorial acknowledgement

Public acknowledgement of the traditional territory upon which we all live is an important step toward reconciliation. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report calls for 94 actions toward restoring a balanced relationship between Indigenous peoples and settler communities in this country. Lori ACR Campbell, director of the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, says

“It is so important to know who you are and where you come from, and to know who the original inhabitants are of the territory that we currently have the privilege to live, work and play on. Our relationship to place contributes to positive sense of culture and identity both as Indigenous peoples and as settler nations.”  

Universities and reconciliation

Commitment to reconciliation actions is growing among post-secondary institutions and associations. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) published a guide to territorial acknowledgment for Canadian universities, which includes the following: “[…] acknowledging territory is only the beginning of cultivating strong relationships with the First Peoples of Canada. CAUT encourages academic staff associations to reach out to local Aboriginal communities to open pathways for dialogue.”

Related links: Universities CanadaFederation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

    University of Waterloo acknowledgment 

    We (or unit name) acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of ‎ the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. 

    Where and when we make the acknowledgment

    Departments, offices and individual members of the University are strongly encouraged to acknowledge the land we occupy in any or all of the following ways:

    • Post the acknowledgement statement on our websites: on the homepage, on the About page, or in the site footer.
    • Add the acknowledgement statement to UWaterloo email signature.
    • Add the acknowledgement statement to course syllabi.
    • Make the acknowledgement statement at commencement of courses, meetings, conferences, and presentations.

    map of the Halidmand TreatyAbout the Haldimand Tract​

    On 25 October 1784, Sir Frederick Haldimand, the governor of Québec, signed a decree that granted a tract of land to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), also known as the Six Nations, for their alliance with British forces during the American Revolution (1775-83). The Haldimand Tract extends by 10 kilometers on both sides of the Grand River, from its source in Dundalk Township to its mouth at Lake Erie. Originally, 950,000 acres was designated for the Haldimand Tract, today approximately 48,000 acres remain. Read more about the history and ongoing negotiations: Six Nations Lands and Resources.

    Map source: Adam Lewis, “Living on Stolen Land,” Alternatives Journal December 2015