On national Indigenous Peoples Day, we would like to reflect and honour that countless Indigenous peoples and nations that have long lived a life of nature literacy and have been championing the work we are trying to support for, quite literally, lifetimes.
Indeed, we acknowledge that we work on the traditional territories of (and with) the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw and Wesley First Nations). Where we live is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. Specifically, we live where the Bow River meets the Elbow River, and that the traditional Blackfoot name of this place is “Moh’kins’tsis”, which we now call the City of Calgary.
To create a nation of nature literacy means to understand Indigenous traditional knowledge, culture and values, while working to find new avenues for working together to balance the needs of all life. We’re far from perfect, but we pledge on this day – and every day – to be open to new ideas, to learn from the wisdom holders, to live a life of respect and to always demand better of ourselves and our platform, for every act can be an act of education and reconciliation.
And if we may, at a time when the world appears to be losing its humanity and becoming more polarized than ever, we are reminded on this day that we must work harder to come together as neighbours and fellows citizens, owning our responsibilities to be kind, respectful and decent to one another, in the shared pursuit of creating more innovative, efficient and just systems that we all rely on and live within.