As the school year begins at **** University (located in Western Canada), an “Equity Committee” circulated to all teaching staff towards the end of August:
Given our mission to be a university of choice for Aboriginal education, the **** Equity Committee would like to encourage faculty to acknowledge the ***** territory in your course outlines as unceded in support of indigenizing the curriculum. This could be done by adding the following message right under the [university] logo in course outlines:
“Located on the **** ***** territory within the unceded traditional lands of **** (**** Nation)”
The **** Equity Committee thanks you for considering this request.
Another similar message was sent in early September:
You may also customize your outline to include the following gratitude (courtesy of Dr. ***):
I acknowledge the **** Nation, upon whose traditional and unceded land **** University is located (***). I am grateful for the **** Nation’s generosity and hospitality while we live, learn and work in their territory.
Exactly how much “unceded” land are we talking about? Just this one case? The whole province? The whole county?
This strikes me as pandering of the worst sort. It encourages people to see themselves as victims. They need to see themselves as equal to the rest of us, many of whom see themselves victims on different issues.
The cult of victimhood is wrong. (And my spell checker is convinced that “unceded” is not a word.)