Research and consultation in creating a meaningful and intentional land acknowledgement are key.
Research and consultation has been key to creating a meaningful and intentional land acknowledgement, and we welcome further dialogue.
The Future Skills Centre acknowledges that Toronto is situated upon traditional and current Indigenous territories that include the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit. The treaties that cover these territories include 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 – and the Upper Canada Treaties.
We all eat out of the Dish, and all of us that share this territory share this land with only one spoon. That means we have to share the responsibility of ensuring the dish is never empty, which includes taking care of the land and the creatures we share it with. Importantly, there are no knives at the table, representing that we must keep the peace.The proportion of Turtle Island (North America) we now call Canada has been home since time immemorial to the ancestors of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples. We recognize that in this territory these rightsholders have endured historical oppression and continue to endure inequalities that have largely resulted from the widespread failure of non-Indigenous treaty participants to hold up their responsibilities within the Dish With One Spoon Covenant. In our role as a research center governed by a consortium of partners, the Future Skills Centre is committed to raising awareness of our shared commitments to taking care of this land, and to rebuilding and renewing respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. We aim to support and advance progress towards the Calls to Action outlined in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), and in particular we are working with partners to close the significant educational, employment, and health outcome gaps that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. We are committed to building and maintaining equitable, respectful, and solid relationships with Indigenous organizations and leaders in areas of policy, business, human resources, and beyond.
Inspired by the 94 recommended TRC Calls to Action and the work carried on by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), we accept that it is our responsibility to acknowledge the territories on which we work and reside as a necessary first step toward honouring the original occupants of a place. These acknowledgments help our internal staff and external partners recognize and respect Indigenous peoples’ prior and continued claims to the land, and to our shared responsibility for caring for the land, water, and our relationships. This recognizes the inherent kinship beliefs held by Indigenous peoples about land, especially since those beliefs were restricted by Canadian policies for so long.
Part of the point in making land acknowledgements is to recognize how systemic and institutional systems of power have oppressed Indigenous peoples, and how that oppression has historically influenced the way non-Indigenous people perceive and interact with Indigenous peoples. We encourage all of our staff and partners to take the time to read the Final Report of the TRC, and to consider how the scope of our shared and external projects can further advance progress on the Calls to Action.