Delta City Hall. (James Smith photo)

Delta City Hall. (James Smith photo)

Delta council meetings, public events to begin with Indigenous land acknowledgment

Metro Vancouver, eight cities in the region, Delta School District all have similar practices

All Delta council and committee meetings, as well as city-run public events, will now begin with an Indigenous land acknowledgment.

Last week, council voted unanimously to adopt an Indigenous land acknowledgment written in consultation with both the Tsawwassen First Nation ant Musqueam Indian Band. The move came as a result of a unanimously endorsed motion from Coun. Dan Copeland on Feb. 8.

The acknowledgement, to be read by the chair of each meeting or the host/master of ceremonies for each City of Delta event, reads as follows:

“Before we begin, I would like to acknowledge that this meeting is taking place on the shared, traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the [Tsawwassen], [Musqueam] and other Coast Salish Peoples. We extend our appreciation to these First Nations for the opportunity to hold this meeting here today.”

According to a staff report to council, the language borrows from best practices elsewhere by specifically mentioning the First Nations with whom the city has active relationships and that have land in Delta, while also being inclusive of other First Nations that include parts of Delta in their traditional territory.

“Fundamentally, and thanks to input from Musqueam and Tsawwassen First Nation, the proposed language is clear, concise, and most importantly, respectful,” the report says.

“Instituting the practice of making an Indigenous land acknowledgement is one small step on the path to reconciliation.”

Council will begin using the acknowledgement at its regular meeting on Monday, April 26. Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Ken Baird, Musqueam Indian Band Chief Wayne Sparrow, Tsawwassen First Nation councillors Louise Ahlm and Valerie Cross, and Tsawwassen First Nation CAO Braden Smith are scheduled to attend the meeting to mark the occasion.

The report also states additional actions for addressing reconciliation will be brought to the recently-formed Mayor’s Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism. Council also endorsed a motion by Coun. Jeannie Kanakos to report back to council on the City of Delta’s current and planned reconciliation initiatives.

Eight municipalities in the region currently begin council meetings with an Indigenous land acknowledgment, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Langley (both city and township), White Rock, Pitt Meadows, West Vancouver and Belcarra. Metro Vancouver does the same at its meetings as well.

The report states that other municipalities in the region are also considering adopting the practice, while many public bodies including various levels of government, school districts and other agencies already make an Indigenous land acknowledgment at the beginning of meetings and events.

The Delta School District has begun every board meeting with an Indigenous land acknowledgment since January 2015, a practice it has since expanded to included school assemblies, presentations, district meetings and conferences.

Since January of this year, DeltaSD Indigenous education team member Nathan Wilson has also invited all staff and students to participate in a weekly Monday morning territorial acknowledgment via Zoom.

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Braden Smith as CAO of the Musqueam Indian Band. The North Delta Reporter regrets the error.)

RELATED: Cedars planted at Delta schools as part of reconciliation



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DeltaIndigenousIndigenous reconcilliation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The College of Massage Therapists of B.C. says Van (William) Dinh, a registered massage therapist in Surrey and Langley, has had his licence suspended while an inquiry committee panel investigates allegations of sexual misconduct. (Unsplash photo)
Surrey massage therapist suspended amid sexual misconduct investigation

CMTBC received complaint Van (William) Dinh allegedly exposed ‘sensitive areas of the patient’s body’

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey woman a face of World Ovarian Cancer Day campaign in London, New York

‘It’s so important we find better treatments,’ Catherine Eiswerth says

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

Surrey-White Rock MLA Trevor Halford and Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux. (Contributed photos)
BC NDP ‘chose to create a system of chaos’ by holding back COVID-19 data: Cadieux

South Surrey MLAs criticize provincial government after BCCDC documents leak

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

Most Read