Through Centennial College, contributors to this resource are connected to the homelands and treaty lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinabewaki, Chippewa, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Mississauga and Wendake-Nionwetsïo (Native-Land.ca) among other peoples who historically lived on the lands, fished from the lakes and rivers and hunted from the forests of Tkaronto, or what some now know as Toronto.
Some of us live here among ancient ancestors and carry on the legacies of First Peoples of these lands. Others of us arrived recently as colonizers, refugees or immigrants. Residing here and being sustained by this land, we all are treaty people governed by several of the over 40 treaties and other agreements that First Nations signed as independent, self-governing nations and by the Dish With One Spoon Treaty between Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that binds us all to share the territory in peace and to protect the land.
In our teaching and learning, we aspire to good hearts and good minds. We acknowledge the land as a sentient and life-sustaining being that surrounds us with cooling forests that refresh our air, with rivers and lakes that provide fresh water and with rich soils that grow our food. We acknowledge the land as a suffering being, ravaged by centuries of colonization, extraction and neglect.
If we truly acknowledge the land, we must acknowledge fully the destruction and loss experienced by those who are dispossessed and dislocated across these lands some call Canada. We must listen now actively to Indigenous, Metis and Inuit peoples and learn how we might atone for ongoing colonization and reconcile ourselves to all our relations.
“This land acknowledgement was created by a student in TLHE720 (June 2021), shaped by content and perspectives from:
- Toronto Land Acknowledgement, a resource created by Shannon Winterstein, Professor, Academic Excellence and Program Quality, Centennial College.
- York University – Understanding the Land Acknowledgement
- Land Acknowledgement from ClimateFast/Drawdown Toronto Series – Groundwork: Food – Land – Climate
- 1492 Land Back Lane and other reflections on “Canada 150”.