Policy on Land or Territorial Acknowledgment

This policy applies to BRISMES conference participants from occupied or colonised land. It comes into effect from the 2023 BRISMES annual conference.

Honouring and acknowledging their homelands and ancestral connection to the environment is a centuries old tradition of Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations peoples. That connection is recognized in the United Nations’ (2007) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which acknowledges Indigenous peoples’ inalienable rights to “the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired” (Article 26). It asserts that “control by Indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands, territories and resources will enable them to maintain and strengthen their institutions, cultures and traditions, and to promote their development in accordance with their aspirations and needs” (p. 4). 

In alignment with the UN Declaration, the policy of BRISMES is that when registering for the conference participants will: 

  • acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which the institution to which they are affiliated is located, and/or: 
  • acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which research was conducted. 

This acknowledgement will then appear in all conference-related materials. 

Towards enacting this policy, at the conference, participants are also encouraged to: 

  • document when research is undertaken in partnership with the traditional owners of the land where the research takes place, to enhance their mutual prosperity and values; 
  • use the Indigenous language to identify peoples, places, and practices (with English language translation in brackets as appropriate); 
  • provide participant quotes in the language used by those participants (with English language translation in brackets); 
Example 1: Author affiliation in conference programme/registration 
Author name, Department of History, The University of British Columbia, xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territory, Vancouver, Canada 
Example 2: Author acknowledgement during the presentation  
Author Name, Dept. YYY, University of South Florida* In conference presentation: The University of South Florida is located on the traditional Homelands and territories of the Seminole, as well as other historical groups including the Calusa and Tocobaga. Today, the state of Florida is home to the Seminole, Miccosukee, Muscogee, and Choctaw, and to individuals of many other Native groups. In this work, I recognise the historical and continuing impacts of colonization on Indigenous communities, their resilience in the face of colonial and state-sponsored violence, and fully support Indigenous Sovereignty. We will continue to work to be more accountable to the needs of American Indian and Indigenous peoples. 

For help in learning about the territory you live and work on, Native Land (https://native-land.ca/) features a virtual, interactive map of Indigenous territories, treaties and languages across North America, South America, Northern Europe, New Zealand and Australia. We also recommend this interactive map as reference for those coming from colonised lands/institutions in Palestine: https://today.visualizingpales.... However, neither map fully represents or intends to represent official or legal boundaries of any Indigenous nations. 

Here is some advice for creating an indigenous land acknowledgement statement: https://nativegov.org/a-guide-... 

Occupied lands 

Where an institution is built on land that has been appropriated by an occupying power in contravention of international law, BRISMES policy is that this must be explicitly acknowledged by participants. They should do so by providing the appropriate legal instrument/resolution designating the status of occupied land in international law, when registering for the conference (this acknowledgement will then appear in all conference-related materials). 

Example 1: Author affiliation 
Name of Author, The University of XXX, illegal Israeli settlement of YY, Occupied Palestinian Territories (United Nations designation) 

During the conference presentation, we also encourage participants to include additional details, as part of their introductory statements: 

Example 2: Author acknowledgement during the presentation 
I acknowledge that the land on which this research was conducted is designated Occupied Palestinian Territory in international law, as reconfirmed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 in 2016. 

The above examples are illustrative and should not be understood as the only example of an institution that may be built on land appropriated by an occupying power in contravention of international law.

Approved 4 March 2022 

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