The Grand Philharmonic Choir has deep roots in Waterloo Region. By giving land acknowledgements, we recognize and respect the Indigenous peoples who lived in this Region before the arrival of settlers and were the original caretakers of these lands. Land acknowledgements make visible Indigenous peoples who have been invisible and marginalized in Canada. When we as non-Indigenous people acknowledge the traditional territory on which
we all live, it takes us on a significant first step toward reconciliation.
We make these statements at milestone occasions including concerts and at our annual general meeting.
They are also included in concert programmes and on our website.
Our Land Acknowledgement Statement:
We acknowledge that the Grand Philharmonic Choir operates on the traditional territory of the Anishnaabe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral peoples. We acknowledge this land out of respect and gratitude for the Indigenous nations who have cared for this land from before the arrival of settlers until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge the historic oppression of Indigenous peoples and that inequality and racism are a part of Canada today.
We acknowledge that we have a responsibility to understand the history and the current experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We reaffirm our commitment and responsibility to improve our understanding of Indigenous peoples, their cultures and their historic connections to this land.
We offer this acknowledgement as an act towards reconciliation between non-Indigenous Canadians and the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In the words of Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council: “Let us find a way to belong to this time and place together. Our future, and the well-being of all our children, rests with the kind of relationships we build today.”