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Richmond Hill Councillor claims that Land Acknowledgement is not of interest to residents

Councillor Carmine Perrelli claims that Land Acknowledgement is "clearly not of interest to the majority of Richmond Hill residents" because no one spoke up.

Councillor Tom Muench says that a Land Acknowledgement is "mean- spirited" and shows picture of bloodied man he claims was "pummeled" in Richmond Hill for bringing up "aboriginal acknowledgement".

June 23, 2021 Richmond Hill Council Meeting

City staff were seeking council approval to research and consult with Indigenous communities to develop a Richmond Hill Land Acknowledgement Statement. This was part of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative, as directed by Council in their 2020-2022 Council Strategic Priorities under the priority of “A Strong Sense of Belonging.”

Click the video and listen to some of the comments made by Councillors Carmine Perrelli and Tom Muench about Land Acknowledgements, the residents of Richmond Hill and a bloodied man.

The motion did pass 6-2

(Perrelli and Beros voting against)

March 25, 2019 Richmond Hill Council Meeting

Richmond Hill Council considered a motion brought forward by Councillor David West to establish an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement for use at Council meetings.

Upset Richmond Hill residents

The council chambers was filled with Richmond Hill residents. There were 19 verbal delegations and 23 written correspondence in support of the Land Acknowledgement motion. View agenda here

What happened next is a travesty. The motion establishing a Land Acknowledgement statement was replaced with a direction to staff to create a course available for employees “to provide education and training on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools".

What is a Land Acknowledgment?

A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

Hear what it means to members of the Native American and Indigenous Peoples Steering Group at Northwestern here.

Why do we recognize the land?

To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgments do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol. Northwestern University

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