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Land acknowledgments, treaties, and further resources: Centennial College and the City of Toronto

Why Acknowledge the Land?

Land acknowledgements are a small but essential step toward Truth and Reconciliation. By taking the time to acknowledge the land we stand on, we remind ourselves of the long history of silencing in this country and the need to speak the truth on a journey towards reconciliation

(Toronto Land Acknowledgement by Shannon Winterstein/Centennial College (2019))

Whose Land Are You On?

Treaty lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Courtesy of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (2015)

 

You might have heard that Toronto is on the traditional territory of the the Mississauga of the Credit First Nation; Ojibwa or Anishinaabe land; or maybe Huron-Wendat or Iroquois land. So whose land are you on?

Indigenous peoples in what is now called Canada can be identified by linguistic groups. The Anishinaabe people were part of the Algonquian linguistic group. Their history traces back to Georgian Bay and Lake Superior. Settlers assigned the names Ojibwa/Ojibway/Ojibwe and Chippewa to the Anishinaabe, however, they have always referred to themselves as Anishinaabe (i.e. human beings).

The Anishinaabe people were long standing allies with the Wendat (Ouendat), an Iroquoian linguistic nation. The Wendat were located in what is now southern Ontario, along the shores of the St. Lawrence river. French settlers assigned the Wendat the name Huron. 

The Anishinaabe and Wendat nations were enemies of the Haudenosaunee, a confederacy of five Iroquoian speaking nations, also known as the Five Nations Confederacy. In the 1600s, the Haudenosaunee defeated the Wendat and took over their lands and trade routes. The Anishinaabe, along with their Algonquian allies, called the M'Chigeeng or the Three Fires Confederacy, pushed the Haudenosaunee back to their traditional lands along the southern shores of Lake Ontario. 

After this conflict, two Anishinaabe communities settled in the area, one along the Trent River System and the other on the western shores of Lake Ontario. These communities became known as the Mississaugas.

(Toronto Land Acknowledgement by Shannon Winterstein/Centennial College (2019); Treaty Lands & Territory by the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (2015))

Pronunciation

  • Anishinaabe: (ah)-nish-naw-bay)
  • Haudenosaunee: hoed-eno-show-nee
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