All council meetings in the Township of Langley will now begin with an acknowledgement that they take place on the traditional lands of indigenous peoples.
Councillor Steve Ferguson brought forward the motion Monday, Jan. 25.
It calls for council to acknowledge that Langley Township is on the traditional lands of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Matsqui, and Semiahmoo First Nations at the start of every meeting.
Mayor Jack Froese actually began Monday’s meeting with such a declaration even before the motion was up for debate.
Froese’s brief acknowledgement also acknowledged the Township’s relationships with all those nations.
Such statements, often adding the words “unceded territory” have become common at the start of government announcements and briefings at the federal and provincial levels.
In B.C. in particular, land is considered “unceded” because there were no treaties signed with the vast majority of First Nations when early European settlers arrived in the 19th century, unlike in the Prairies and parts of Eastern Canada.
Ferguson’s motion was approved unanimously and without debate.