Territorial Acknowledgements

A territorial acknowledgement seeks to acknowledge a) the Indigenous peoples with historical ties to a particular locality as well as b) the treaty relationships between settler and Indigenous peoples that were entered into in respect of that land. As Christians, we also offer our gratitude for the opportunity to share the land with Indigenous peoples as members of a church which has a conflicted history with Indigenous peoples, we commit ourselves to the ongoing process of reconciliation.  You can express it by concluding the acknowledgement with something like the following:

We recognize the enduring presence of Indigenous peoples connected to and on this land. We are grateful for the opportunity to gather on this territory and work in this community, and we commit ourselves to the work of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

There is no “perfect” form of words for a territorial acknowledgement. What is important is to express in a meaningful way your commitment to reconciliation and right relationship with Indigenous peoples.

Do you know whose land you’re on? Anglican Journal, June, 2018

Different areas within the Diocese are associated with different Indigenous peoples and particular First Nations and treaties.  We have gathered the most common ones below, together with a guide to pronunciation.  Taking the time to practice the pronunciation of Indigenous proper names in advance is part of the respect which a territorial acknowledgement is intended to convey.

Toronto (between Brown’s Line and Woodbine Ave.),  Vaughan, Richmond Hill, King City:

The land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee (ho-den-oh-show-nee), and Anishinabek (ah-nish-nah-bek) Nations, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. This territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. This territory is also covered by the Toronto Purchase. Today, Toronto is home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island.

Toronto (east of Woodbine Avenue), Markham, Stouffville, Uxbridge, Beaverton, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Port Hope, Cobourg, Brighton:

The land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Wendat, Anishinabek (ah-nish-nah-bek) Nation, the Haudenosaunee (ho-den-oh-sho-nee) Confederacy, the Mississaugas of Scugog (skoo-gog), Hiawatha (hi-ah-wah-tha), and Alderville First Nations and the Métis (may-tee) Nation. This territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. The treaties that were signed for this particular parcel of land are collectively referred to as the Williams Treaties of 1923.

Mississauga and Brampton South (south of Hwy 107)

The land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee (ho-den-oh-show-nee), and Anishinabek (ah-nish-nah-bek) Nations and  the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. This territory was the subject of Treaty 13A, also known as the Head of the Lake Purchase.

Brampton, Bolton and Caledon:

The land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee (ho-den-oh-show-nee), and Anishinabek (ah-nish-nah-bek) Nations and most recently the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. This territory was the subject of Treaty 19, also known as the Ajetance (ah-jet-ahnce) Purchase.

New Tecumseth, Innisfil, Creemore, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach:

The land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee (ho-den-oh-show-nee), and Anishinabek (ah-nish-nah-bek) Nations, and is the subject of the Lake Simcoe-Nottawasaga Treaty of 1818, Treaty 18 of the Upper Canada Treaties.

Barrie, Midhurst, Midland: 

The land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Odawa (oh-da-wah), and Anishinabek (ah-nish-nah-bek) Nations.  It is the subject of Treaty 16 of the Upper Canada Treaties, also known as the Lake Simcoe Purchase of 1815.

Orillia, Coldwater, Waubaushene:

The land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Anishnabek (ah-nish-nah-bek) Nation, specifically the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. This territory is covered by the John Collins Purchase of 1795 and the Williams Treaties.

Penetanguishene

The land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Odawa (oh-da-wah), and Anishinabek (ah-nish-nah-bek) Nations. It is the subject of Treaty 5, or the Penetanguishene Purchase.

Peterborough

The land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and Anishinabek (ah-nish-nah-bek) Nations and the homeland of the Curve Lake and Alderville First Nations. It is the subject of Treaty 20, or the Rice Lake Purchase.

You can learn more about treaties in Ontario here.