If you live in the US or Canada, you may have noticed a movement to acknowledge local indigenous groups who’ve historically lived in a particular territory. For example, Tasha and I live in Toronto, Ontario, which is also where our nonprofit meditation community group – The Consciousness Explorers Club or “CEC” – operates. These days, at the beginning of every CEC retreat and meditation sit, we say some version of “The CEC operates on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit, and is covered by Treaty 13.” We say this as a way to situate us in an actual physical place. And we say it because we support the movement of truth, justice and reconciliation for Indigenous peoples in this country. It’s been too long in coming.
In today’s episode, we explore the inner practice of territory and ancestor acknowledgement.
Our guide, Warren Hooley, comes from a mixed indigenous and western background. He lives in the Syilx (Okanagan) Territory in Penticton, British Columbia, where he runs workshops on Facilitation, Indigenous Allyship, and Compassionate Communication. He also teaches at the Consciousness Explorers Club. Warren has really wrestled with this question of why territory acknowledgment matters, and how to engage with it in a way that is real and meaningful for the practitioner.
His beautiful guided practice is really a ceremony, complete with drum and singing. It has three parts: an acknowledgment of local indigenous groups, an exploration of our own ancestral roots, and finally connecting in a personal way with our own local landscape.
Warren’s 21-minute practice starts at 7:00 and ends at 28:00.