Skip to Main Content

Teaching Resources for New Librarians & Library Staff

Getting Started

Both UBC campuses are on unceded, ancestral, and traditional Indigenous territories. This page contains resources on theses nations and the University's relationships with them. If you are not Okanagan or Musqueam then you are a guest on these lands and the nations are your host, or host nations. 

Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm & Syilx Territories

Who we are is just as important as where we are, especially when it comes to our research. Learning more about the land we are on helps us understand our relationship and responsibilities within our work and research. The following resources are meant to assist folks learn more the relationship between ourselves, place, and Indigenous communities. 

The following resources are relevant to UBC Vancouver:

The following resources are relevant to UBC Okanagan:

What is a Land Acknowledgement?

A land acknowledgement (or territorial acknowledgement) is considered a respectful, yet political, statement that acknowledges the colonial context of the Indigenous territory/territories where a gathering is taking place. It recognizes relationships between land and people, and in particular Indigenous peoples' continued presence on the lands being acknowledged.

Land acknowledgements are formal statements usually performed at the beginning of a gathering by the host of the gathering, to insert awareness of history of land into daily life. When doing a land acknowledgement, some individuals may also situate themselves in relation to the land by mentioning their ancestry or the nation or community they belong to. Over the past decade, land acknowledgements have become more mainstream as awareness of reconciliation and Indigenous issues has grown.  

Some individuals also choose to do personal, informal land acknowledgements unaffiliated with an organization or institution, to situate themselves in relation to where they live. You may see these in someone's personal email signature or social media bio, for example. 

Land acknowledgements are done verbally and visually in many different ways. Some common spaces where land acknowledgements are performed include:

  • meetings
  • presentations
  • schools and classrooms
  • lectures
  • on an institution's or organization's website
  • on an institution's or organization's email signature
  • cultural events
  • press conferences
  • place signs
  • any type of gathering

Why do we acknowledge territory and why does this matter for our research? See X̱wi7x̱wa's Locating Ourselves: Geographically and Socially to find out why! 

Creating a Land Acknowledgement

There are no true "best practices" for creating a land acknowledgement, as they are all unique to the place, Nations, communities and relationships being acknowledged. However, the general consensus is that they should be intentional, meaningful and accurate. The following resources provide templates, tools and critical suggestions for creating land acknowledgements.