Making Thanks for a ‘Gift’ Unwillingly Given

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A good read from a settler perspective.


by Karen E. McCallum

Sitting yesterday at the University of Victoria (an institution built on what was once a Lekwungen village), I got to thinking about the acknowledgements section of my Master’s Thesis, which I’m due to finish for August 2013. I’m not sure what to write exactly (whom do I privilege there to be thankfully acknowledged?), so I did a bit of research: I found acknowledgements sections where people thank each family member, roommate, and neighbour by name. I also read one in which the student thanked members of her thesis writing group, thanking them for their “commiseration and companionship”.

I chose to begin with territory acknowledgements and that is where this story really begins—I decided it would be right that I thank members of all the nations who had tolerated and hosted me on their territories. I chose to thank only those nations whose land I had remained…

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