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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Treaties Recognition Week

Braiding Our Past, Present and Future

Treaties Recognition Week is Monday, November 1 to Friday, November 5 and is meant to honour the treaties agreed to between Indigenous nations and the Crown in right of Ontario over the last 250 years. Understanding the spirit and intent of treaty relationships is important for building new relationships of mutual respect and benefit between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Join us this week as we take time to learn about and reflect on the rights and relationships arising from treaties in a series of self-guided reflection activities. 

Weeklong Reflection Activities

How can you educate yourself on treaties this week? What can you learn to share with others? Here are some guided reflection activities to help you learn about treaties. 

Learning from the Land

Sometime this week, go and sit in some natural green space - by a tree, water or wherever you feel drawn - for 30 minutes, or whatever you can manage.  No cell phone or other distractions are allowed, and if you can, make it a space that has not been modified by humans.

Pay attention to how you are feeling.  What is your body doing and feeling when you first get there and sit down?  How do you feel as you continue to quietly wait there?  When was the last time you can recall just sitting and being with nature? What do you learn about connecting with the land simply by sitting and listening?

The Royal Proclamation of 1763

Learn about this historical letter from King George III acknowledging Indigenous land rights. What happened next?

Watch Justice Murray Sinclair speak on the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

Treaties Recognition Week land reflection

What traditional territory are you on and what treaty covers it? Whose.land is an interactive map showing treaties that apply on Turtle Island, also called North America. Take some time to reflect and answer the question: what action can I take to honour the land I am on? 

We Are All Treaty People open education resource

The University of Toronto has created an open educational resource module to teach about the history and context of treaties in Canada and how we can all reflect and act today as Treaty People. Access the We Are All Treaty People open education resource.

Movement Towards Change: What Can You Do?

Honouring and fulfilling treaties is one way to help build stronger relationships between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Now that you have begun learning about treaties, how can you act while building your understanding?

 

Events

The Government of Ontario is hosting 3 educational events throughout Treaties Recognition Week in partnership with various organizations. View the full list of events on Ontario.ca.

Treaties and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action

Monday, November 1 from 1 to 2 p.m., online

Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux will lead a conversation on treaties, the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and what we can all do, practically, to advance reconciliation.

Learn more and register

Trick or Treaty?: Partnership event with Nipissing University’s Indigenous Initiatives Office featuring Maurice Switzer

Tuesday, November 2 from 1:30 to 3 p.m., online

Maurice Switzer discusses the history of federal and provincial governments' relationships with treaties and how the legal structures of treaties as they relate to the Canadian legal framework has been handled from their signing until the present.

Learn more and register

Red, Right and True: An Indigenous Worldview

Friday, November 5 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., online

Elder Dr. Duke Redbird walks through the historical mistruths and biases against Indigenous People, and presents a new worldview through an Indigenous lens.

Learn more and register

 

Want to learn more? The Library can help. Visit the Library’s Indigenous Studies Research Guide web page for resources.