'This is long overdue': Land acknowledgement recited in Manitoba legislature

A formal land acknowledgement was recited for the first time in the Manitoba's legislative assembly,  which one of the province's Grand Chiefs says is a momentous move to reset a badly tarnished relationship with the province.

On Monday, an Indigenous land acknowledgement was recited as a part of the formal proceedings of the legislative assembly.

"This is long overdue, it is the right thing to do and I believe this is an important step in our collective efforts to advance reconciliation and move forward together," Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson said in a news release Monday afternoon.

The province said all three political parties unanimously agreed to the land acknowledgement, adding the government will later codify this through a Standing Committee on Rules of the House to make it permanent.

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs was invited to sit in as a delegation of First Nations representatives to hear the first reading of the land acknowledgement.

"To First Nations, the land acknowledgement is more than symbolic; it is also a key step to righting previous wrongs perpetuated on First Nations in this province and moving forward in the spirit and intent of Reconciliation," Dumas said in a written statement.

"Today’s first reading of the official provincial land acknowledgement in the legislative assembly of Manitoba is another momentous moment in our shared history as we all work in the spirit of cooperation and respect to reset the relationship, which has been badly tarnished over the last few years, between First Nations in Manitoba and the provincial Crown."

The land acknowledgement will be delivered by the speaker of the house for the remainder of the fall sitting.

You can read the full land acknowledgement, as recited by House Speaker on Monday:

"We acknowledge we are gathered on Treaty 1 Territory, and that Manitoba is located on the Treaty Territories and ancestral lands of Anishinaabeg, Anishininewuk, Dakota Oyate, Denesuline and Nehethowuk.

We acknowledge part of Manitoba is located on the homeland of the Red River Métis. We acknowledge northern Manitoba includes lands that were and are the ancestral lands of the Inuit.

We remain committed to working in partnership with the Indigenous peoples in the spirit of truth, reconciliation and collaboration in accordance with their constitutional rights and human rights."