Being Neighbours In Musqueam Territory
The meaning behind our acknowledgements 1
By MNH, February 27 2018
We come, as new neighbours to those that have forever inhabited this territory, acknowledging that the rights, ownership and traditions of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations are tied to the land where Marpole Neighbourhood House now sits.
It is our aspiration to honour this acknowledgement by taking our words into actions so, as we speak of unceded and untreated territories, we design and develop initiatives that cherish the unique and enduring relationship of Indigenous people to their land. At Marpole Neighbourhood House we want to take the necessary steps to learn about and understand the notions of land return and indigenous self-governance.
It is our belief that at this point of history, as a non-indigenous organization, our work within the processes of reconciliation and decolonization must involve indigenous leadership and provide reflective spaces for non-indigenous people to comprehend, with fairness and in solidarity, the direct relationship between our reality and the historical consequences and current impacts of colonialism in Indigenous people, their resources, culture and identity.
Rooted in our values and principles, Marpole Neighbourhood House strives to be an open place that promotes sincere and challenging conversations around reconciliation and decolonization, aiming at building relationships, knowledge and initiatives that create collective practices in the search for our true accountability to these territories.
To the Musqueam people in whose land Marpole Neighbourhood House works, thank you for your historical hospitality and resistance, and for the opportunity to learn from your traditions and wisdom.
1 We acknowledge that Marpole Neighbourhood House is on the unceded, occupied, ancestral and traditional homelands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We recognize the vast cultural diversity of Indigenous people and acknowledge the heterogeneity in their opinions, representation, needs and desires.