The members of the Zeta Epsilon Chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon International Sorority do not ever intend to forget the history and acts of violence committed toward Indigenous bodies and their land. The land that we are so privileged to live and work on was neither empty nor uninhabited when Europeans unjustly established their presence on it during the 17th century.
In fact, Ottawa is rightfully Anishinabee land who treat the land with dignity, and respect and practiced sustainable nomadic lifestyles. Colonial institutions established by colonists have been maintained through oppressive systems that exclude and erase Indigenous voices from decision-making and prevent their access to resources. Coloniality, meaning ongoing colonialism through the dominant oppressive institutions like racism and ethnocentrism, will not stop until the systems that have privileged settlers and their descendants are completely dismantled and the land has been returned to the rightful keepers and owners.
While we know that nothing will bring back the lives that have been lost, the identities that have been stolen, and the culture and languages that have been erased; We know this, but land acknowledgments are one step toward building a future of reconciliation, kinship, and prosperity among settler-colonists and Indigenous peoples. As we express gratitude for the beautiful land, we must also remind ourselves of the centuries of violence towards First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples by settler-colonists that have enabled our presence on this land.
We as individuals and as the Delta Phi Epsilon International Sorority must take the time to learn and research whose land we reside on from Indigenous sources because our privilege and positionally here have been a source of such trauma for Indigenous populations. We would like to continue with land acknowledgments and continue to take steps toward reconciliation.
You can learn more about the land you reside on at: https://native-land.ca