GPACOS Land Acknowledgement Resource
We have prepared two land acknowledgements to encompass the region in which we live and work.
The first is intended for more formal settings, bigger groups, or longer meetings. For example, the formal acknowledgement may be suitable for opening a conference, event or assembly.
The second one is intended for more casual occasions or after someone has already made the formal acknowledgement. For example, when one is the third speaker at an event, at the beginning of an informal meeting, or during morning announcements.
Grande Prairie Community Resource -Engaging with Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers
In January 2018, representatives from the Grande Prairie Aboriginal Circle of Services and various organizations in Grande Prairie came together to talk about how they can build relationships and engage with Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers (Elders/Knowledge Keepers) in a way that respects Indigenous culture. From this meeting a working group was formed to explore creating a community resource to assist people in their journey.
Working group members have experienced challenges between institutional systems and wanting to be respectful of Indigenous culture. For instance, many people had questions around where to start when looking for the support of an Elder/Knowledge Keeper, how to approach various protocols and practices with cultural differences, and how to navigate payment.
To help meet the needs of this group, and others in the community, this document has been created to assist people in working with Elders/Knowledge Keepers by:
Identifying guiding principles;
Teaching about engagement through story;
Providing useful tools to increase education and awareness; and
Sharing local resources to support cultural and community connection.
Through sharing this resource, we hope to ensure that all relationships with Elders/Knowledge Keepers come from a place of respect and true engagement, with two-way dialogue and understanding. We want to build trust and support consistency in our approach to gifting and honoraria with Indigenous communities and Elders/Knowledge Keepers in Grande Prairie. The intent of this resource is to provide beginning best practices to building and strengthening relationships with Indigenous Elders/Knowledge Keepers. To respect Indigenous culture, there are many aspects and teachings that cannot be written. If you would like to explore something further then please connect with an Elder/Knowledge Keeper.
Everyone is welcome to utilize this resource, but it is not a substitute for connecting and building relationships and knowledge. This resource is meant to be part of a broader learning journey.
The best approach to learning about Indigenous culture is to form a relationship with Indigenous organizations and community members and experience learning first hand.
The Grande Prairie Aboriginal Circle of Services (GPACOS) is an informal information sharing network that is hosted by Community Social Services (CSS), Northwest Alberta. There are two elements to the interagency: the monthly meeting and the email network platform. Members are invited to attend meetings when they can and sign up to receive email correspondence that helps share program, event and referral information.
We try to keep the information relevant to our catchment area and can share out to the other Aboriginal Interagency email networks in High Level, High Prairie and Peace River when regional initiatives come up.
Our current Co-Chairs are Shannon Dunfield & Kelly Benning.
GPACOS meets once per month, from September through June on the fourth Tuesday and are open for anyone to take part; membership is inclusive, flexible and diverse. It is not require that everyone attends every meeting. Below is a listing of the meetings that will be held during the upcoming year. All meetings are held at the Grande Prairie Museum at 10329-101 Avenue from 10 am - noon, unless otherwise determined.
GPACOS promotes a collaborative and holistic approach while engaging in solutions-based dialogue that embraces culture and history, and strives to enhance individual and community work towards the best possible outcomes for Aboriginal children, families and communities. Our informal format provides an open avenue for agency representatives, community members to network with one another and share ideas, resources and programming information. On occasion other subcommittees may be formed if need arises. Attendance is open to anyone and we do not require that everyone attends every meeting.