Canadians Support Wide Use of Territory Acknowledgements

Almost three-in-five of the country’s residents think the practice is a positive step towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Vancouver, BC [October 4, 2022] – While fewer than half of Canadians have been at an event that featured a territory acknowledgement, most believe that the practice should become more common across the country, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 39% of Canadians say they have attended a ceremony, lecture or public event that featured a territory acknowledgement.

Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (49%), Alberta (46%) and British Columbia (44%) are more likely to have listened to a territory acknowledgement than their counterparts in Atlantic Canada (36%), Quebec (also 36%) and Ontario (35%).

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

More than half of Canadians (54%) think territory acknowledgements should be adopted widely before ceremonies, lectures and public events held in Canada, while 26% disagree and 19% are undecided.

“Support for the wide adoption of territory acknowledgements is highest among Canadians aged 18-to-34 (62%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Fewer Canadians aged 35-to-54 (57%) and aged 55 and over (45%) share the same point of view.”

More than three-in-five Canadians who cast ballots for the New Democratic Party (NDP) (62%) and the Liberal Party (64%) in the 2021 federal election are in favour of the wide adoption of territory acknowledgements in Canada. Fewer than half of Conservative Party voters (44%) welcome this idea.

Just over half of Canadians (53%) consider territory acknowledgements as a sincere and important practice, and practically three-in-five (59%) think they are a positive step towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

For 57% of Canadians, territory acknowledgements amount to a lip-service gesture, while just under two thirds (63%) believe they do little to address the problems facing Indigenous peoples.


Results are based on an online study conducted from September 25 to September 27, 2022, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 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.