"I wish to acknowledge the ##### people, the traditional owners of this land."
Frequently followed by:
"...and show my respect to all Elders, past and present."
I suppose this does as little harm, or as much harm, as burning a pinch of incense at the Emperor's altar. I would however like to proffer the following more extended litany:
"I acknowledge the ### people, the traditional custodians of this land, who love this land, who know the stories of this land and the names of its hills and rivers.
I acknowledge the many peoples who came before the ####, who also loved this land, whose names and stories are forgotten.
I acknowledge the people of the
And I acknowledge all men and women, in whatever time, and from whatever place, who have loved this land, for anyone who loves this land belongs to this land.
I wish to show my respect to all men and women of good faith who have sought truth as they understood it, and virtue as they understood it, in every age and every land. And I wish to show my respect to the many sages and prophets of East and West who built the civilisation we share: who taught us to seek for law in the universe, and in the way we live; to love our neighbours as ourselves; and to strive to live according to the principles of liberty, fraternity, and equality. For the Earth is but one country, and all of us its citizens."