Our Commitment to Truth & Reconciliation
Acknowledging Host Nations
We respectfully acknowledge that the PWL office is based on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
We acknowledge that Canada is the product of settler colonialism which systematically harms Indigenous people and communities in many ways and on multiple scales, including:
- the dispossession and theft of lands and resources;
- the denial of sovereignty;
- legislated cultural eradication through the Indian Act and residential schools;
- abuse and discrimination;
- the withholding of critical services and resources;
- and the removal of generations of children from their families, homes, and communities.
Collectively, these harms are called genocide.
We honour the courage and sacrifice of those who, historically and currently, work to preserve and transmit cultural knowledge and assert their inherent rights, despite generations of legislated oppression.
Acknowledging Our Role and Responsibility
We acknowledge that the design and planning professions are entangled with colonization in specific ways. The results of this entanglement include :
- the racial segregation of cities;
- environmental and spatial inequalities;
- the continued displacement of Indigenous peoples and communities, and;
- the marginalization of relational ties between Indigenous people, cultures, and the land.
We acknowledge the underrepresentation of Indigenous professionals within the field and the often-overwhelming burdens of engagement and consultation processes on Indigenous communities. We acknowledge that as a result, our work is largely done in the absence of Indigenous voices or contributions.
We believe that the decisions we make as planners and designers have substantial impacts on the life, health, and well-being individuals and communities. We believe design can contribute either to redress and reconciliation, or to continued harm.
We acknowledge our responsibility to work towards reconciliation and redress. Therefore, with humility and understanding, we commit to working together in partnership to create a just future together.
Our Commitments & Actions
PWL commits to continuing our internal professional development and education efforts on the history of colonization and the path to reconciliation. We commit to promoting and supporting Indigenous designers and professionals and to financially support external initiatives seeking redress and supporting reconciliation.
PWL Commits To:
- Donating to local and national Indigenous-led or Indigenous-focused organizations twice a year.
- Financially contributing to the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation LACF Indigenous scholarships: Peter Jacobs Indigenous Scholarship and BC2 Indigenous Scholarship.
- Hiring Indigenous design consultants and knowledge keepers to provide cultural guidance on our projects
- Strengthening good relationships with Indigenous clients and stakeholders
- Investing in staff training on the history of colonization and reconciliation
- Providing services in-kind for projects led by Indigenous communities wherever possible
We acknowledge that the depth, breadth, and complexity of the harms of colonization far outstrip our efforts toward redress. As an organization, we commit to continuous learning and unlearning from our shared history and from our own inevitable missteps with resolve and humility. We commit to proactively seeking out ever more effective ways to take action.