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הַכָּרָת רִבּוֹנוּת הָאָרֶץ | Indigenous Land Acknowledgement, by Aurora Mendelsohn (2020)

Hebrew English

כוונה
INTENTION

הִנְנִי מוּכָן וּמְזוּמָּן \ מוּכָנָה ומְזַמֶּנֶת לְקַיֵּם מִצְוַת הַכָּרָת רִבּוֹנוּת הָאָרֶץ לְשֵׁם יִחוּד.
Here we are, ready and prepared to acknowledge the sovereignty of the land as we are commanded for the sake of unification.[1]The phrase “for the sake of unification” comes from Kabbalistic formulation of intention originated by Rabbi Isaac Luria in the 16th century. The traditional formulation of “I am ready and prepared” is for intention that precedes action, and so is appropriate here, since a land acknowledgment is intended to spur us to concrete action.

כָּכַּתוּב:
וּנְטַעְתִּים עַל־אַדְמָתָם וְלֹא יִנָּתְשׁוּ עוֹד מֵעַל אַדְמָתָם אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לָהֶם אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ׃ (עמוס ט:טו).
As it is written:
God said I will plant them on their land and they will no longer be removed from their land which I gave them. (Amos 9:15).

וְהָאָרֶץ לֹא תִמָּכֵר לִצְמִתֻת כִּי־לִי הָאָרֶץ כִּי־גֵרִים וְתוֹשָׁבִים אַתֶּם עִמָּדִי׃ (ויקרא כה:כג).
The land shall not be sold permanently because the land is Mine, since you are all immigrants and resident-settlers according to Me (Leviticus 25:23).

הַכָּרָת רִבּוֹנוּת הָאָרֶץ
LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT

This land is the traditional territory and sacred land of many nations including: the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. It is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

We acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. This territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

Though we as Jews have also suffered from land displacement and cultural displacement, we acknowledge the ways in which we, as non-indigenous people in this land, have benefited from colonialism, former and ongoing, which has hurt and oppressed First Nations peoples. We ask for their forgiveness.

This indigenous land acknowledgement was compiled by Dr. Aurora Mendelsohn for her Mendelsohn/Kalikow Family Haggadah (2020) and was adapted from a Land Acknowledgment offered at the Kohenet service held at the Parliament of World Religions, Toronto, November 2018. It reads, “Jews of many backgrounds have experienced a sense of geographical and cultural displacement over the years. We acknowledge our history of displacement, and as importantly, we acknowledge the ways in which we as non-indigenous peoples and settlers have benefited from colonialism, former and ongoing which has hurt and oppressed First Nations peoples. We ask for your forgiveness at this time.” Territories and treaties obtained from the interactive map at https://native-land.ca, which covers Indigenous lands globally. For adapting this acknowledgement to your context, specify your location.

Source(s)

Download Land-Acknowledgement-Aurora-Mendelsohn-2020.pdf (PDF, 1.75MB)

Notes[ + ]

1.  The phrase “for the sake of unification” comes from Kabbalistic formulation of intention originated by Rabbi Isaac Luria in the 16th century. The traditional formulation of “I am ready and prepared” is for intention that precedes action, and so is appropriate here, since a land acknowledgment is intended to spur us to concrete action.

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