This land acknowledgement is a step towards publicly acknowledging the history of the land in which we occupy and work, as a step towards reconciliation with our Indigenous communities. We know that colonization continues to be prevalent in society and the harmful, unjust impacts it has had for Indigenous communities. We are aware of child welfare’s role in this, including residential schools, the “60s scoop” and the continued overrepresentation of Indigenous children in care. These assimilative practices have caused intergenerational trauma, impacted parents ability to care for their own children, separated Indigenous families from one another and removed Indigenous people from their culture and traditions. We recognize that in reconciliation work, recognition of the importance of the land is imperative, and the forced displacement/removal of Indigenous people from their land is unacceptable.
We want to acknowledge all the original caretakers of Turtle Island. Our agency office and the counties in which we work (Haldimand and Norfolk) are located on the traditional territories of the Anishnaabe, Attawandaron (Neutral) and Haudenosaunee peoples.
We all have a responsibility to acknowledge and understand this history, and the current experiences of our Indigenous partners. This understanding is needed to inform the work that we do so that we can stop perpetuating the damages of colonization and begin to repair them. Land acknowledgements are just one small, first step in doing this work. We know that while we cannot change the past, we can change the future. We dedicate ourselves to recognizing settler privilege, disrupting these cycles and respecting your rights to protect your land, treaties and your community.