A settler on Turtle Island, the least I can offer is an acknowledgment that the land on which we gather to do our healing work is stolen land. It is the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee and Métis Peoples.
I would like to acknowledge the Attawandaron people on whose traditional territory 44 Cardigan St. resides and offer my respect and gratitude to the original keepers of this land - to my Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Métis neighbours as we strive to strengthen our relationships with them.
I recognize the significance of the Dish with One Spoon Covenant to this land. The Dish with One Spoon Covenant is a peace agreement made between Indigenous nations before the Europeans arrived. It characterizes our collective responsibility to each other and Mother Earth – we should take only what we need, leave enough for others and keep the dish clean. We are a long way from this, but I commit myself to doing what I can to move us in this direction.
Today, this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and acknowledging them reminds me of our important connection to this land where I learn and work - and the need for us to strive together to have better relations, to commit to reconciliation for all of the harm we have done to all of these peoples and nations.
I humbly live, heal, work and create here - and I raise my voice to call on all fellow settlers to do more, to do better and to do right.
Recommended reading: Towards Braiding (2019) by Elwood Jimmy, Vanessa Andreotti, and Sharon Stein