We acknowledge that North York is the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, Haudenosaunee and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by treaty 13.
This territory is the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas, and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, settlers and all newcomers, have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.
North York Arts recognizes that truth and reconciliation is a continuous process and while this land acknowledgement is a crucial step, our organization has much more work to do. By adhering to our values and leading with authenticity, we are committed to building positive relationships with Indigenous peoples, the wider community, and the environment.
We aim to create shared spaces where we honour art as an expression of spirit and a platform for storytelling. We will continue to educate and be educated, and we will strive for balance in all of our relations. By creating these opportunities, it is our hope that we foster a more inclusive, engaged, and sustainable North York community for generations to come.
We are truly grateful to be able to work and create on this land.
What is the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant?
The “Dish”, or sometimes it is called the “Bowl”, represents what is now southern Ontario, from the Great Lakes to Quebec and from Lake Simcoe into the United States. *We all eat out of the Dish, all of us that share this territory, 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 dish is graphically represented by the wampum.
This was a treaty made between the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee after the French and Indian War. Newcomers were then incorporated into it over the years, notably in 1764 with The Royal Proclamation/The Treaty of Niagara.
The land acknowledgement started in British Columbia, where there are no treaties at all. Its popularity has spread as an acknowledgment of Indigenous presence and assertion of sovereignty. It is used in a variety of ways, such as at opening events and meetings.
Source: Ryerson University