The land gives us life and honouring the land is a gift in return.
The land we live on was, for multiple generations, a thriving society inhabited by Indigenous Peoples. They governed their communities and lived in accordance with their own laws; they used the land to survive, to feed themselves, to give to others. They respect the land. But this land, here on Turtle Island as well as many other territories across the globe, was colonized by European explorers, including from the land of my ancestors governed by the British Crown. Guelph, the city in which I work, is situated within the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Between the Lakes Purchase, Treaty No. 3, documents how the lands were ceded to the British Crown.
As the descendant of these white European Christian settlers, I acknowledge my status as one who shares land that was stolen from Indigenous Peoples. Treaties were negotiated in good faith but ultimately, the settlers coerced inhabitants of this land with promises that were broken. Treaties remain but honouring them has not been sustained by current day settlers. In addition to this dishonour, colonizers – including government and church – wanted to assimilate Indigenous people. This continues today, in modern day, through oppression, arrogance, and ignorance.
I am immensely privileged and grateful to share the lands within this traditional territory and I recognize my place as a descendant of British colonizers and settlers. My pursuit of the truth of colonization is ongoing and my respect of the land and its Indigenous Peoples is deeply felt.
This acknowledgement is a living document.
Education is vital. Read and learn about the history of Indigenous Peoples, the colonization of their lands, and the outcomes resulting from colonization and white supremacy.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
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