We've been doing a Territorial Acknowledgement at the beginning of our services each Sunday for the past few months. Recently I've been asked why. The United Church, as part of its commitment to Reconciliation, recognises that it is essential. Kairos, one of the organisations of which we are members also offers a helpful understanding. And there are many resources to help us keep a perspective on this.
For me it is also a recognition that the settlers/colonizers story is not the only story. There is a richness to our history we have lost because we have not listened to it or suppressed it. Taking a moment to speak aloud our learning that we have been blessed by what others have given concentrates our energies on the future: we have a legacy of care and respect to return, and to teach our children.
Place these words I’m speaking on your heart and in your very being. Tie them on your hand as a sign. They should be on your forehead as a symbol. Teach them to your children, by talking about them when you are sitting around your house and when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are getting up. Write them on your house’s doorframes and on your city’s gates.