To land acknowledge or not.
The people of Surrey may be surprised to know that their presence is based on theological precepts.
There is no treaty with the Indigenous owners of the land, but the Doctrine of Discovery (rooted in 15th century papal bulls), propped up by Lockean ideas of land and labour (Locke was influenced by Genesis 1:28) has, in non-Indigenous eyes, provided the justification for settler colonization of the land.
This leaves Indigenous peoples with a right of occupancy, but no real political power.
Particularly within the past 55 years, Indigenous peoples across Canada have yearned to re-establish their inherent right to self-government and confirm “shared sovereignty” with settlers.
If the mayor of Surrey and council have such a great relationship with Indigenous peoples, perhaps they can provide evidence of this in annual reports on reconciliation, as call to action 55 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission requires.
Bob Burgel, Fisher River Cree Nation