A historic land acknowledgement
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/12/2021 (543 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
We returned to the Legislature in late November for a short session made historic by the reading of a land acknowledgement that will forever remain a part of the daily rituals of the Legislative Assembly.
I am proud to serve in the Legislature as part of a team that includes five Indigenous MLAs, all of whom helped to get us to this place. Wab Kinew is the first Indigenous leader of a political party in Manitoba. Amanda Lathlin was the first First Nations woman ever elected to the Manitoba Legislature.
Nahanni Fontaine is the first Indigenous house leader. Bernadette Smith and Ian Bushie are also strong Indigenous leaders; Bernadette has an MMIWG family member and Ian is the first sitting MLA to live on reserve and to previously have served as chief of a First Nation.
Land acknowledgments matter because they keep us thinking about and talking about the history of our province and our country. They matter because they commemorate Indigenous peoples’ relationship to the land and the fact that colonization has not and cannot erase their connection to the land.
Acknowledging the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples who first resided here, inside the very place where Manitoba laws are made and where Indigenous people were never meant to have a seat at the table is an important first step towards reconciliation.
These are the words you can now read in Hansard, the official record of the Manitoba Legislature, or tune in and listen on the daily broadcast:
“We acknowledge we are gathered on Treaty 1 territory and that Manitoba is located on the treaty territories and ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Anishininewuk, Dakota Oyate, Denesuline and Nehethowuk nations.
“We acknowledge Manitoba is located on the homeland of the Red River Métis. We acknowledge northern Manitoba includes lands that were and are the ancestral lands of the Inuit. We respect the spirit and the intent of treaties and treaty making and remain committed to working in partnerships with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in the spirit of truth, reconciliation and collaboration.”
Diversity in the Legislature matters because it allows us to hear the perspectives of all Manitobans not just a few. This is how we build a Manitoba for all of us.
Do you have a unique perspective you want to share? I want to hear about it. Call my office at 204-792-2773 or email me at email@example.com
Wolseley constituency report
Lisa Naylor is the NDP MLA for Wolseley.