I was born and raised in Treaty 1 territory in what is now known as Winnipeg, Manitoba. These lands are the traditional and ancestral territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. In Winnipeg, our water was sourced from the Shoal Lake 40 Nation, who have only recently been given access to clean water after 2 decades of a boil water advisory. I recognize that the lands in which I grew up were shaped by these Nations.
Now, I live in so-called Vancouver, on the traditional and unsurrendered territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. I am studying at the University of British Columbia, which is a colonial institution, sitting on the traditional and unsurrendered territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nation. These Nations have experienced and continue to experience active colonization, genocide, dispossession. I recognize that I have personally benefitted from this dispossession.
I am committed not to simply acknowledging the Nations of these territories, but to understanding that acknowledgment is an active dedication to decolonization.