Skip to main content Skip to footer

Journey to Reconciliation

The Municipality of Kincardine has made a commitment to develop meaningful relationships with Indigenous Peoples and work toward reconciliation. Part of this commitment includes developing awareness and acknowledging the truths of our history and the harms that have been completed against Indigenous peoples. There cannot be reconciliation without understanding and acknowledging the truth.

Land Acknowledgement

The Municipality of Kincardine has made a commitment to develop meaningful relationships with Indigenous Peoples and work toward reconciliation. Part of this commitment includes developing awareness and acknowledging the truths of our history and the harms that have been completed against Indigenous peoples.  There cannot be reconciliation without understanding and acknowledging the truth. 

One step in our journey to reconciliation is to acknowledge the land that the Municipal meeting and/or public event is being held on.

A lush green grove of trees with strong roots. Text: Land Acknowledgement

Acknowledging the traditional territory of Indigenous Peoples, whose ancestors were the first to inhabit, care for, and live on this land, is a small yet very important step in the process of reconciliation.

We would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional lands and treaty territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, which includes the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation.

We recognize and deeply appreciate the contributions that Indigenous Peoples have made, both in caring for this land and shaping and strengthening this community.

Learning and acknowledging Indigenous history and culture moves us towards a journey of truth, healing and reconciliation with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and the Historic Saugeen Métis (HSM).

A land acknowledgement involves making a statement recognizing the traditional territory of the Indigenous people(s) who called the land home before the arrival of settlers, and in many cases still do call it home.

Providing an acknowledgement at the beginning of an event or meeting gives time for reflection and demonstrates recognition of Indigenous lands, treaties and peoples. It involves thinking about what happened in the past and present, and what changes can be in the future in order to further the reconciliation process. A land acknowledgement is a reflection process in which you build mindfulness and intention into whatever event or gathering you are having.

Land acknowledgements mark a small and important step in the process of reconciliation. By making a territorial acknowledgement you are taking part in an act of reconciliation, honouring the land and Indigenous presence which dates back over 10,000 years.

It is important to note that this is only the beginning and is a call to action. It serves a reminder that we are all accountable to work on actions that move us towards reconciliation.

Inspired by the 94 recommended calls to action contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (now known as the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, or NCTR), land acknowledgements are a necessary first step toward honouring the original occupants of a place. They also help Canadians recognize and respect Indigenous peoples’ inherent kinship beliefs when it comes to the land, especially since those beliefs were restricted for so long.

Land acknowledgements aren’t about placing blame, and not all Indigenous peoples agree on their efficacy or even on how they should be done—especially when they are sloppy, done without Indigenous consultation or don’t reflect actual Indigenous inclusion and representation within organizations as a whole. Part of the point in making land acknowledgements is to recognize how systemic and institutional systems of power have oppressed Indigenous peoples, and how that oppression has historically influenced the way non-Indigenous people perceive and interact with Indigenous peoples - all still quite prevalent in today’s cultural, social and political climate.

Source: Indigenous writer Selena Mills

An acknowledgement is offered at the opening of meetings, ceremonies, lectures or public events. It is to be offered even if there may be no Indigenous individuals present.

Doing a land acknowledgment at the beginning of a meeting does not mean our work and actions are done. The work we need to do towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is a long-term journey which takes commitment, action and meaningful relationship building.

Typically the host of the event – (a non-Indigenous member of the group) will offer the acknowledgement.

The person offering the acknowledgement first introduces themselves and may include family lineage and other connections to the land and Indigenous people if they so choose.

  • Find out which groups of First Peoples are connected to the land on which the event is happening so that they can be properly acknowledged for their care of and connection to the land.
  • Practice pronouncing the names of the nations that will be acknowledged as a way of respecting those Indigenous groups and their languages.
  • Seek input of a community Elder if you have further questions or if you wish to develop a land acknowledgement for your own group or workplace.

Speaking from the heart about colonialism and your personal path on reconciliation is challenging. A first step is to speak to what you know: your own positionality, your settler background, your relationship (or lack thereof) with Indigenous people in Canada.

Acknowledgements should be tailored to reflect:

  • Your personal experience and learning.
  • The connections with the land.
  • Your relationship with Indigenous people.

If you do not know how to pronounce the local First Nations name or territory, find out how to pronounce the names and practice before doing the acknowledgement.

Here are a few places where you can learn more for your own Journey to Reconciliation.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action

In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 calls to action. We all can respond to these calls.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports

UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

Indigenous Allyship: An Overview

21 Things you may not have known about the Indian Act

Read a Book

Listen to Music

A Spotify playlist by Indigenous artists on a free space for Canadian Indigenous music creators currently curated by Jayli Wolf.

Watch Indigenous Cinema

  • Film created by an Indigenous artist or with an Indigenous theme offered through the National Film Board of Canada.
  • Bruce County's Kincardine and Tiverton Branches offer video-streaming service of Indigenous cinema on Kanopy (will require an account to log in.)

Move to Action

Take action on a personal, organizational, and community level with the Calls to Action.

Saugeen Ojibway Nation


Journey to Reconciliation: 2024 Activities

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada. It’s a time to recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience, and diversity of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit People.  There will be several activities held throughout the season to demonstrate commitment and inspire actions on the journey to reconciliation.

A person's hand holds a bundle of smoking sage.

Learning Circles

To help us understand the history of the land we are on we have arranged to have two training sessions for staff, Council, Committees of Council and the Community.

We are proud to offer a series of Learning Circle opportunities:

Sunrise Learning Circle - June 1, 2024

Come out and learn about the significance of the sun for Indigenous people at this Learning Circle with Trish Meekins who is of Pottawatomi and Mohawk decent. Trish strongly identifies with her Anishinabek culture and history and is the sole owner of Nikaanaganaa Counselling & Learning Centre located in Owen Sound. 

Bring your own lawn chair or blanket and come and join the learning circle.

Register online to attend the June 1st, 2024 Learning Circle, or contact us by e-mail or phone at 519-389-1857.
Victoria Park, Kincardine
10 a.m. to Noon
Please bring your own lawn chair.

Ceremonial Fire - June 1, 2024

A fire will be kept by a Fire keeper throughout the day. Bring your lawn chairs and come by and say hello.

Victoria Park, Kincardine
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

History of the land from a First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspective - June 19, 2024

This training will be conducted by Trish Nadjiwon Meekins. She will present the history of land from a First Nations', Métis and Inuit perspective. Trish will also bring you on a journey from before contact with the newcomers of Turtle Island to where we are today. It is our responsibility to understand what it means to be treaty people and brainstorm ways to move forward from where we are today.

Register online to attend the June 19th, 2024 Learning Circle, or contact us by e-mail or phone at 519-389-1857.
Municipal Administration Centre at 1475 Concession 5, Kincardine
1:30 to 4 p.m.

Reconciliation: Where are you now? September 12 and 26, 2024

A central theme that will be conveyed in this workshop is the necessity of reconciliation work beginning with acknowledging the implications of a settler state in the maintenance of complacence and continued oppression, marginalization, and inequities regarding the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples’ experiences. Moving beyond coFacmplacence requires accountability.  Discussions about the Truth and Reconciliation have been in the public domain since 2015. In preparation for the workshop sessions, it is anticipated that participants will have some foundational understanding of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and TRC Calls to Action (2015). This information can be located at Reports - NCTR. Presentations can be found on You Tube. Senator Murray Sinclair: The truth is hard. Reconciliation is harder. (  and Murray Sinclair on moving reconciliation forward in Canada (

Session 1: Acceptance of Canada being a racist state

What we cannot see, we cannot change. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has documented the historical and present truths of harmful and violent colonial impacts on Indigenous peoples in Canada. Colonization dispossessed Indigenous peoples from their original territories and imposed racist policies for the purpose of assimilating and controlling them in ways benefitting the state. The Doctrine of Discovery (was) is the primary rationale of assimilation that has enabled settler invasion and continued control and oppression of Indigenous peoples. This doctrine has contributed to a passivity in settler society when topics of reconciliation and Indigenous people’s surface. While these topics can be challenging to hear and honestly talk about, it is through kindness in our discussions that possibilities for “seeing” this truth and moving beyond passivity may come forth.

Session 2: A relational approach to seeing routes of change

What can I do? This is a question that many settler peoples ask. While a good question, it can create the thinking that the answer lies outside of themselves. Consider answering this question for yourself. This does not mean doing the work of reconciliation on your own; but it does mean considering the TRC Calls to Action and which ones relate to your work, volunteer work, church activities, board equity work, etc. What do you need to know and what relationships are needed to begin addressing those calls within your context?

Register online to attend Reconciliation: Where are you now? Learning Circles, or contact us by e-mail or phone at 519-389-1857.
Virtual Workshops - Two part series
1 to 4 p.m.
Facilitator: Kelly Laurila, MSW, RSW; PhD

Residential School Impacts - Orange Shirt Day - September 30, 2024

Elder Shirley John and Diane Giroux in for the residential school presentation in honour of Orange shirt Day.

Elder Shirley John, Strong White Buffalo Woman of Saugeen First Nation is a widely respected spiritual leader. In this interactive circle, she delivers an impactful first-hand account of her experience as a little girl attending residential school. She walks us through the realities of being sent away, attending the institution, and then returning to the community.  

Register online to attend the September 30th, 2024 Learning Circle, or contact us by e-mail or phone at 519-389-1857.
Municipal Administration Centre at 1475 Concession 5, Kincardine
1:30 to 3 p.m.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters

September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which was selected to coincide with the Orange Shirt Day which began in 2013. Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not.

Approximately 150,000 Métis, Inuit and First Nations children attended Canadian residential schools between the 1860s and the 1990s, 6,000 are estimated to have died amid abuse and neglect (Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission). 

The Municipality of Kincardine is committed to meaningful discussion about the legacy of the residential school system, to affirm that #EveryChildMatters, and to further commit to reconciliation. 

Everyone is encourage to find a way to participate by wearing orange, reading articles and watching videos, or encouraging learning at your school or place of work.

Learn more on the Orange Shirt Day website.

Review a list of resources to educate yourself and do more than just wear orange. 

Sign up to our Newsletter

Stay up to date on the city's activities, events, programs and operations by subscribing to our eNewsletters.

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy.