A Canadian college made students a faculty agree they’ve benefited from white privilege before they could join a zoom call.
George Brown College in Toronto presented those attending the Zoom call to read a lengthy statement check a box saying the agreed that they had benefited from white privilege and would commit to “decolonization,” The College Fix reported.
“The students and faculty who click the ‘I Agree’ box are acknowledging they ‘benefit from the colonization and genocide of the Indigenous peoples of this land’ and are agreeing it is ‘imperative we constantly engage in acts of awareness and decolonization,” the outlet noted.
A note at the bottom of the statement explains that by selecting “I agree,” they are merely “indicating your acknowledgment of this statement.” The college insisted that it did not intend “to impose agreeance, but to inform through acknowledgment.”
As the Fix noted, a statement acknowledging indigenous land appears on every webpage hosted by the college. The college says in these statements that it is “located on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and other Indigenous peoples who have lived here over time.”
“We are grateful to share this land as treaty people who learn, work and live in the community with each other,” the statement also says.
Some colleges and universities in the U.S. also provide land acknowledgments, which have caused controversy, the Fix reported.
At the University of Washington, Professor Stuart Reges’ syllabus was censored when he included a statement that the local Native American tribe “can claim historical ownership of almost none of the land currently occupied by the University of Washington.”
“The University of Colorado Denver recently issued a five-page syllabus equity guide suggesting students and professors join together in reading a statement honoring Indigenous people and acknowledge the campus sits on land formerly inhabited by Native Americans,” the outlet also reported.
Meanwhile, San Diego State University has moved in the opposite direction, with professors voting recently to end a policy that required them to include a land acknowledgement statement in their syllabi.
The full text of the George Brown acknowledgment read:
It has been the site of human activity since time immemorial. This land is the territory of the Huron-Wendat, Mississaugas, Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee.
The territory is the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Confederacy of the Anishinabek and Allied Nations to peaceably care for and share the resources around the Great Lakes.
We also acknowledge all Treaty peoples – including those who came here as settlers – as migrants either in this generation or in generations past – and those of us who came here involuntarily, particularly forcibly displanted Africans, brough here as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery.
As settlers or the displanted, we benefit from the colonization and genocide of the Indigenous peoples of this land. In order to engage in resistance and solidarity against the past and present injustices inflicted on the Indigenous peoples of this land, it is imperative we constantly engage in acts of awareness and decolonization.
**By selecting ‘I agree,’ you are indicating your acknowledgment of this statement. Our intent is not to impose agreeance, but to inform through acknowledgment. This acknowledgment is to generate awareness and offer opportunities for personal reflection.**
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Author: Ashe Schow
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