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What are treaties?

Treaties are nation-to-nation agreements outlining promises between both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people that set out responsibilities, agreements, and benefits for both. There are 70 recognized treaties in Canada. However, some First Nations never negotiated treaty so the land remains unceded.

Acknowledging Territory: examples to share

Following are a list of examples of territorial acknowledgements that are currently in use in the area of Toronto Conference.   


KAIROS Canada

The KAIROS Toronto office is on the historical territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the New Credit Indigenous peoples. This territory is covered by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the lands and resources around the Great Lakes.


Emmanuel College, University of Toronto

Statement on Acknowledgement of Traditional Land
Adapted from a revised statement by the Elders Circle (Council of Aboriginal Initiatives) from November 6, 2014

As we gather together (at Emmanuel College), we acknowledge this sacred land on which the University of Toronto operates. It has been a site of human activity for 15,000 years. This land is the territory of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Today, the meeting place of Toronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work in the community, on this territory.

We are also mindful of broken covenants and the need to strive to make right with all our relations.


Bathurst United Church, Toronto 

Bathurst United has adopted the practise of preparing a three-part acknowledgment that includes:

  • The Territorial Acknowledgment as follows: We acknowledge that we walk upon the traditional territories of the Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation, Anishnawbe, Haudenosaunee [ho-deh-no-SHAW-nee], Wendat, and Huron Indigenous Peoples, the original nations of this land, who continue to cry out for justice.
  • A Short Reference to a current story related to Aboriginal justice and life
  • A reference to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action 

From Tina Conlon, Community Minister at Davenport-Perth

Toronto is home to a large indigenous population including residential school survivors and intergenerational family members who have been impacted by the history and legacy of the residential school system.

The sacred land on which we stand has been a site of human activity for 15,000 years. This land is the territory of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. 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.

Today, the meeting place of Toronto is still the home to many indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work in the community, on this territory.


Dish With One Spoon Territory — a deeper acknowledgement

In considering the inclusion of a territorial acknowledgement at the regular meetings of Toronto City Council, Jamaias DaCosta suggests that a deeper acknowledgement would include The Dish With One Spoon Wampum, an early indigenous treaty to peaceably share the resources of the Great Lakes region. Read the article in April 11, 2014 Muskrat Magazine article, TORONTO AKA TKARONTO PASSES NEW CITY COUNCIL PROTOCOL.


 South West Presbytery, Toronto Conference

As we begin today, we acknowledge the history, spirituality, culture, and stewardship of the land of the Indigenous people of this region, most recently the Mississaugas of the New Credit, who are Anishinaabe Ojibwe people. 
We seek to live in respect, peace, and right relations with them as we live, work, and worship upon their traditional territory. 
We are mindful of broken covenants and the need to strive to make right with all our relations.