Land Acknowledgement in PSD
With peace, harmony and unity, we honour the land on which we stand as Treaty 6 territory. This is sacred land to many First Nation, Métis and Inuit, and in particular our neighbours, Paul First Nation, Enoch Cree Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Alexander Cree Nation and our friends of the Métis Nation. We recognize and acknowledge Indigenous values, traditional teachings, ways of being, contributions and historical inequalities. We respect all cultures with an open heart and an open mind. We ALL heal together.
Parkland School Division (PSD) recognizes the historical significance and contributions of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and their cultures and understands the important role that the Indigenous communities play today and in the future. We recognize the importance of honouring and acknowledging Treaty 6 Territory as we work towards strengthening relations and building bridges with our neighbouring Indigenous communities.
The division opened a poster contest to all PSD schools in October 2020 as a tangible way for students in Grades 4 through 12 to deepen their understanding of what it means to be a Treaty person and to showcase their creativity and artistic talents.
As the contest drew to a close on January 29, 2021, there were over fifty entries submitted by students from a number of PSD schools. The judging panel included:
- Lance Cardinal, local First Nation artist/designer/photographer
- JoAnne Denis, Local Métis artist
- Kathy Mann, Director of Instructional Services
- Violet Poitras, community Elder from Paul First Nation
- Glenna House, Stoney language coordinator for Paul First Nation
Judging took place on February 9. Scores were tallied and a winner in each age category was named:
- Elementary Winner – Carson Nielsen, Grade 4 (Forest Green School)
- Junior High Winner – El McKenzie, Grade 9 (Connections For Learning)
- Senior High Winner – Taelin Bird, Grade 12 (Memorial Composite High School)
Each winning student’s original art was custom-framed and presented to them as a keepsake by Lance Cardinal and Miss TJ (Indigenous Education Facilitator) on March 10. Framed copies of the winning pieces will be on display at the Centre for Education in Stony Plain.
The official PSD land acknowledgement has been modified to include the written contributions of Makena Keenan, a grade 9 student from Prescott Learning Centre.
The overall winning poster was created by Taelin Bird (pictured below). All PSD schools will receive and display Land Acknowledgement posters.
In PSD's Administrative Procedure 150: Land Acknowledgement, further guidance is given to school-based staff when it comes to the significance and importance of a proper acknowledgement when it is appropriate to include.
1. Division Staff shall acknowledge the Treaty 6 territory with a Treaty 6 Acknowledgement Statement at all board meetings and hosted public and/or community events and gatherings as deemed prudent to do so; typically, at those events where the National Anthem is played.
2. Administrators and school staff shall acknowledge the Treaty 6 territory with a Treaty 6 Acknowledgement Statement at significant school and/or community special events, celebrations and gatherings as deemed prudent to do so; typically, at those events where the National Anthem is played (not including the National Anthem at the onset of the school day).
3. The acknowledgement needs to be made at any appropriate time during the Opening Remarks.
4. Treaty 6 Acknowledgement shall appropriately reference:
4.1. The history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people;
4.2. The ancestral land of Treaty 6 Territories;
4.3. Our neighboring Nations, including:
4.3.1. Paul First Nation,
4.3.2. Enoch Cree Nation,
4.3.3. Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, and
4.3.4. Alexander Cree Nation