One college in Canada has instituted a new policy that forces all of its students and faculty to agree that they have benefited from white privilege before they could even join a Zoom call.
Located in Toronto, George Brown College made those attempting to attend the Zoom call read a document and then check a box showing their agreement that they had benefited from White Privilege and would attempt to commit to “decolonization, read a report from The College Fix.
“The students and faculty who click the ‘I Agree’ box are acknowledging they ‘benefit from the colonization and genocide of the Indigenous peoples of this land’ and are agreeing it is ‘imperative we constantly engage in acts of awareness and decolonization,” stated the outlet.
In small print along the bottom of the document, it explains that by selecting “I agree,” they are just “indicating your acknowledgment of this statement.” The college insisted that it did not mean “to impose agreeance, but to inform through acknowledgment.”
As highlighted by the Fix, an additional statement talking about acknowledging indigenous land appears before being allowed to view any page that is hosted by the college. The college said in these documents that it is “located on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and other Indigenous peoples who have lived here over time.”
“We are grateful to share this land as treaty people who learn, work and live in the community with each other,” continued the statements.
A few colleges and universities within the U.S. also give land acknowledgments, which have even sparked controversy, stated the Fix.
Over at the University of Washington, the syllabus for Professor Stuart Reges was heavily censored when he included a statement that the local tribe of Native Americans “can claim historical ownership of almost none of the land currently occupied by the University of Washington.”
“The University of Colorado Denver recently issued a five-page syllabus equity guide suggesting students and professors join together in reading a statement honoring Indigenous people and acknowledge the campus sits on land formerly inhabited by Native Americans,” stated another report from The Fix.
All the while, San Diego State University took a 180 and went the exact opposite direction, seeing professors vote, in a recent poll, to end an established policy that forced them to have a land acknowledgment statement as part of their syllabi.
In its entirety, the test from the George Brown acknowledgment reads:
It has been the site of human activity since time immemorial. This land is the territory of the Huron-Wendat, Mississaugas, Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee.
The territory is the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Confederacy of the Anishinabek and Allied Nations to peaceably care for and share the resources around the Great Lakes.
We also acknowledge all Treaty peoples – including those who came here as settlers – as migrants either in this generation or in generations past – and those of us who came here involuntarily, particularly forcibly displanted Africans, brough here as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery.
As settlers or the displanted, we benefit from the colonization and genocide of the Indigenous peoples of this land. In order to engage in resistance and solidarity against the past and present injustices inflicted on the Indigenous peoples of this land, it is imperative we constantly engage in acts of awareness and decolonization.
**By selecting ‘I agree,’ you are indicating your acknowledgment of this statement. Our intent is not to impose agreeance, but to inform through acknowledgment. This acknowledgment is to generate awareness and offer opportunities for personal reflection.**