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Why We Respect First Nations

First Nation peoples have been living in North America for thousands of years. They have rich and vibrant cultures as well as social, economic, environmental, and spiritual systems. These people make valuable contributions to the world's heritage thanks to their traditional knowledge and their understanding of ecosystem management.

There are about 365 million Indigenous People around the world, spread across more than 90 countries. Indigenous Peoples – also known as First Peoples, Aboriginal Peoples or Native Peoples – belong to more than 5,000 different groups and speak more than 4,000 languages.

  • We pay respect to the First Nation people, who are the traditional guardians of this land.
  • We acknowledge their longstanding relationship with this territory, which remains unceded.
  • We pay respect to all Indigenous people in this region, from all nations across Canada, who call Ontario home.
  • We acknowledge the traditional knowledge keepers, both young and old. And we honour their courageous leaders: past, present, and future.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples requires a transformative change in the relationship with Indigenous peoples. The UN Declaration is a statement of the collective and individual rights that are necessary for the survival, dignity, and well-being of Indigenous peoples around the world. As a responsible organisation, UCC will fulfil its commitment to support the UN Declaration through collaborative initiatives and actions.

Land Acknowledgement

The Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement recognizing the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

Acknowledging the land is an Indigenous protocol used to express gratitude to those who reside here, and to honour the Indigenous people who have lived and worked on this land historically and presently. It allows us the opportunity to appreciate the unique role and relationship that each of us has with the land and provides a gentle reminder of the broader perspectives that expand our understanding to encompass the long-standing, rich history of the land, and our privileged role in residing here.

To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory we reside on, and a way of honouring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history.

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