Almost Half of British Columbians Back Territory Acknowledgments

Just over two-in-five of the province’s residents have attended an event that featured a territory acknowledgement.

Vancouver, BC [July 27, 2021] – A significant proportion of British Columbians are in favour of territory acknowledgements, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 48% of British Columbians think territory acknowledgements should be adopted before ceremonies, lectures and public events held in the province, while 26% disagree and 26% are undecided.

Territory acknowledgements are usually worded this way: “I want to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of [nation names].”

“There are some significant differences when it comes to the implementation of territory acknowledgements,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While more than three-in-five British Columbians of First Nations and South Asian origins endorse this course of action (62% and 61% respectively), the numbers are lower among respondents of East Asian and European descent (49% and 45% respectively).”

More than two-in-five British Columbians (44%) say they have attended a ceremony, lecture or public event that featured a territory acknowledgement—a proportion that rises to 60% in Northern BC.

British Columbians aged 18-to-34 are more likely to have been at a venue where a territory acknowledgement was made (58%) than their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (40%) and aged 55 and over (37%).

A majority of British Columbians (54%) believe territory acknowledgments are a positive step towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, while 24% disagree and 22% are undecided.

Three-in-five British Columbians (60%) think territory acknowledgements do little to address the problems facing Indigenous peoples—a proportion that rises to 65% among male respondents and to 77% among residents of Vancouver Island.

Roughly the same proportions of British Columbians regard territory acknowledgements as a lip-service gesture (50%) and as a sincere and important practice (49%).

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from July 17 to July 19, 2021, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]