District of North Vancouver council has unanimously supported Councillor Jim Hanson’s motion on Indigenous Land Acknowledgment during council meetings.
“I believe that “reconciliation” with our Nation’s founding peoples is one of the most important issues of our age,” he says.
“I also believe that at the heart of “reconciliation” is respect and that Land Acknowledgements are a way of showing that respect,” Hanson says.
Hanson has been serving on the Indigenous Relations Committee of Metro Vancouver since 2015.
Recently, the committee discussed how various municipal councils have addressed the issue, which inspired Hanson to bring the motion before DNV council.
Recognizing traditional territory is now a customary practice in Canada, which is done to acknowledge that Indigenous peoples have called this land home since time immemorial, before the arrival of newcomers.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report also includes a number of actions that local governments can take to recognize traditional territory.
The acknowledgement is considered a first step in demonstrating a willingness to learn the truth about a shared past.
“Given council’s direction, introducing such a protocol during council proceedings and other significant corporate events is therefore an appropriate next step toward advancing these Calls to Action,” Hanson’s motion says.
Hanson is also calling for staff consultation with Tsleil-Wauthuth and Squamish Nations before any land acknowledgment is made official at DNV.
“If our goal is to show respect we must ensure that whatever protocol we adopt is viewed as respectful by them,” Hanson says.
Coun. Hanson also expressed his gratitude to his fellow councillors for their unanimous support on the motion.