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Land Acknowledgment

The University of Winnipeg acknowledges that the University and all its classes and events take place on ancestral lands, on Treaty One Territory. These lands are the heartland of the Métis people. We acknowledge that our water is sourced from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.

The Department of Criminal Justice agrees that often, land acknowledgments can be considered problematic, particularly if they are not followed by action. Action can take many forms. It can include learning about the genocidal history and victimization of Indigenous peoples by Canadian governments and settlers. It can include understanding how these practices of colonialism continue in societal institutions. It can include listening, healing, and offering ways to reconcile those actions and its effects. It can include funding, supporting, and focusing on creating space to engage in Indigenous methods of knowledge generation.

For the criminal justice system, and for our academic discipline that studies criminal justice, this acknowledgement and action is of particular importance. The criminal justice system is a colonial project that has, and continues to, arrest, criminalize, and incarcerate a disproportionate number of Indigenous peoples. Our courses focus on this and account for theories, practices, and advocacy to think deeply about these phenomena. Our academic discipline seeks to address Indigenous rights in all forms from Treaty Rights and liberal law, to Land Back movements and prioritizing Indigenous legal principles as well as how race forms and contours criminal justice practices.

There are many calls to action stemming from inquiries and committees. Many of these recommendations intersect with the criminal justice system. See the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website for a list and access to numerous documents regarding Truth and Reconciliation

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is an inquiry that significantly impacts the criminal justice system. You can learn more about it here: https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/mandate/

 Students can learn more, and learn about ways to become actively engaged, by choosing to take courses from the list of courses that satisfy the Indigenous Course Requirement: https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/indigenous/indigenous-course-requirement/index.html