Territory Acknowledgement & Understanding our Travel Destinations
Many of our destinations are traditional homelands of a vast array of Indigenous peoples. There is a long history of the erasure of Indigenous people’s history and culture and the displacement and genocide of Indigenous populations worldwide by colonizers. By recognizing these communities, we hope to honor their legacies, their lives, and their descendants. Our hope in acknowledging the Indigenous communities whose land we are visiting is to take the first step in raising awareness about their history, culture and the continued disenfranchisement of Indigenous populations today. We recognize that many people may never have learned about those who lived here before us. By opening the door to this conversation, there is the potential to inspire us all to continue educating ourselves on these issues, raising awareness and participating in actions to correct the continued disenfranchisement of Indigenous populations today.
Native communities have a long and rich history of proven resilience, resistance, and land stewardship and continue to fight today for not only their own rights and recognition, but the positive, sustainable treatment of the environment as well. As a company committed to conservation and preservation of our fragile environment, we recognize there is a great deal we can learn from Indigenous communities in how we engage with and care for the natural world.
“If we think of territorial acknowledgments as sites of potential disruption, they can be transformative acts that to some extent undo Indigenous erasure. I believe this is true as long as these acknowledgments discomfit both those speaking and hearing the words. The fact of Indigenous presence should force non-Indigenous peoples to confront their own place on these lands.” – Chelsea Vowel, Métis, Beyond Territorial Acknowledgements
We recognize that while territorial acknowledgments are an important first step, their value is limited if there is not corresponding intentional and thoughtful action to address both colonial history and current structures that continue to disenfranchise Indigenous populations worldwide.
We encourage you to learn more about the populations whose homelands you are visiting, Indigenous populations more broadly, and the history, legacy, and continued practices of colonization. To recognize and honor the people of the lands we visit, where possible, we’ve indicated (or soon will) on each of our trip pages, the Indigenous populations known to have lived there and those who continue to live there today.
To get an idea of whose lands you will be visiting, visit Native Land, an ongoing project developed by Native Land Digital, recognizing the challenges of identifying all distinct populations of certain areas as many were wiped out or displaced centuries ago. This site also provides further information about Territory Acknowledgement.
As non-indigenous people, we have the opportunity to be allies in the struggle to realize justice for Indigenous populations. For a comprehensive narrative of decolonization and allyship, Waziyatawin’s complete book Unsettling Ourselves is available for free online. Additionally, the website Unsettling America has a number of valuable resources and information for allies.
At the very base, as allies, we must learn to listen more than we talk. We must recognize the limitations of our participation in Indigenous culture, spirituality and ways of living, even as allies. We must engage respectfully, be prepared to be uncomfortable, and be consistent.
This is the beginning of creating a more just, equitable and thriving world. We hope you will join us in this endeavor.