Expressing gratitude to our Aboriginal Nations

At the start of every class, one student could opt to do a bonus point activity and recite our collective expression of gratitude to our local Aboriginal nation for sharing their land so we could work, play, and live on their unceded land. Here is how we typically began each class:

“The JIBC New Westminster campus is located in unceded Coast Salish territory. In keeping with traditional protocols, we who are assembled here wish to express our gratitude to Qay’qayt (KEE- KYTE) and Musqueam (MUS-KWEE-EM) First Nations who have ties to this territory, and we wish to acknowledge the unceded territory of all Coast Salish Peoples.”

Here is a link to a PDF with the bonus point instructions for my students: Jessica Motherwell – Thanks for use of Aboriginal lands. 2016-08aug-26


Dr. Jessica Motherwell McFarlane is a professional education consultant on gender, anti-oppression and social justice issues and a research associate at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. She is also the developer and director of the Life Outside the Box program that uses visual narratives as a way to SEE conflict and injustice from new perspectives. Jessica facilitates groups and schools needing to have complex — and sometimes emotionally painful — conversations. She offers workshops to at-risk children, youth, and adults on: Truth and Reconciliation, transforming bullying situations, and rehearsing best practices for self-care, inclusivity, and kindness.

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