The Peel Regional Police held a press conference on November 7 to discuss their investigation into suspected armed robberies and carjackings in Brampton, Ontario. But the media junket kicked off with a land acknowledgement from Constable Nikhil Chakravarthy, the Public and Media Relations Officer, who dove deep into a near minute-long tangent describing the history of different warring Indigenous tribes who claimed ownership of what is now the city of Mississauga.
Video from the event shows Chakravarthy appearing alongside Mayor of Brampton 'Sneaky' Patrick Brown and other officers and beginning, “On behalf of the Peel Regional Police I want to thank you for joining us today.”
He then opens with, “We begin today by first acknowledging that the land on which we gather upon as part of the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit.”
“For thousands of years Indigenous peoples have inhabited and cared for this land and continue to do so today. In particular, we acknowledge the territory of the Anishinabek, Huron/Wyandot, Haudenosaunee, and Ojibwe Chippewa peoples,” he continued.
“The land that is home to the Metis, and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, who are direct descendants of the Mississaugas of the Credit.”
Chakravarthy concludes by thanking the Indigenous peoples, saying, “We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land, and by doing so, give our respects to its First Nations.”
After posting the clip to X, users had plenty to say in response to the “virtue signalling” and “cringe” performance by the officer.
Rebel News’ Ian Miles Cheong took to the social platform to blast the people involved.
“Absolute cringe. Why are they doing these pathetic virtue signaling displays? Land acknowledgements are meaningless unless you actually intend to give land back to the natives. Decolonialism is cancer.”
Another post references UNDRIP, the United Nations’ proposed scheme to give country’s land back to Indigenous people and take sovereignty away from nations themselves to decide on how to use their natural resources.
An anonymous personality called out the framing of the argument fitting into the social justice warrior’s view of colonialism.
“Land acknowledgements are cringe and play right into the colonial/post colonial/de-colonial frame.”
The City of Mississauga describes land acknowledgements as “short statements that recognize both the land and the indigenous people who lived and in many situations continue to live on the land prior to Canada's colonial history.”