Ninety-five percent of British Columbia, including Vancouver, is on unceded traditional First Nations territory. Unceded means that First Nations people never ceded or legally signed away their lands to the Crown or to Canada. A traditional territory is the geographic area identified by a First Nation as the land they and/or their ancestors traditionally occupied and used.
Before beginning an event, meeting, or conference, it is proper protocol to acknowledge the host nation, its people and its land. You may hear someone begin an event by saying something like this:“Before we begin, I would like to acknowledge that we are meeting today on the traditional territories of the ________________ people (or Nation). We thank them for allowing us to meet and learn together on their territory.”
Here is a map of the First Nation traditional territories in British Columbia:
- Fig 1.6: Map showing First Nations territories in B.C. by the British Columbia Ministry of Education. It is not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of the British Columbia Ministry of Education.