Written by grade 6 students at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Lab School
We will begin with the land acknowledgement, because we will be using the land and need to respect this place where Indigenous people have lived and continue to live.
We would like to thank the First Peoples of this land and all of Creation, including the animals, plants, land, water, air, rocks, trees and all that exists on this beautiful Earth.
We honour the Indigenous people whose traditional territories include the land on which we gather today: the Chippawe, the Wendat, Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, and other Nations, whose names we no longer remember because of the impact of colonialism.
We want to honour the Treaties that were made with the Land and between First Nations and the Crown. Treaties should be honoured no matter what political party is in power.
The story of Canada that most of us know is not the whole story. We have been learning from Indigenous sources about losing language and culture through residential schools, and also about ceremony, celebration and strength of community.
When we are thinking about doing something to the land, like dams or pipelines, we should ask Indigenous people first, because they lived in balance with nature for thousands of years. We have lost our relationship to the earth by doing things like polluting and taking too much.
We need to ask ourselves: What is more important, what I get out of this, or what happens to the land? We need to think seven generations ahead: What we do today, how will that affect tomorrow? We invite you to do the same.