In the spirit of reconciliation, many communities and organizations use land acknowledgements to recognize the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories, and to recognize Indigenous Nations as sovereign.
We deliver this land acknowledgement as an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those on whose territory we gather, and as a way of honouring the Indigenous Peoples who have been living and working on this land for centuries.
We also acknowledge that for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, Indigenous Peoples thrived on Turtle Island, cared for it in a balanced way, and that they continue to be stewards of the land, protectors of water, and sustainers of life. Their connection to this land transcends colonial systems, beliefs, surrenders and treaties.
In Muskoka, we are on the traditional territory of the Anishnaabeg, which includes the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. The Huron-Wendat and the Haudenosaunee Nations have also walked on this territory over time. Southern portions of Muskoka were the traditional territory of the Wendat when they resided in Simcoe County between AD 1300 and 1650 and they travelled regularly through Muskoka during those centuries.
Today Muskoka is home to three sovereign nations: Wahta Mohawks First Nations, Moose Deer Point First Nation and the Moon River Métis. These lands are covered by the Williams Treaty (of 1923), the Robinson Huron Treaty (of 1850) and the J. Collins land purchase (of 1785). We must respect these treaties and ensure our governments do too.
We honour all Indigenous Peoples – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – for their cultures, their languages, their wise teachings, and ways of being that have shaped this country since time began. Together we must remember that, as settlers, we continue to benefit from the colonization and genocide of Indigenous Peoples. We must examine our collective decision making to ensure Indigenous sovereignty so we can all move forward in a healthy way
We challenge all who gather at GreeneStone to seek out knowledge – read books, have conversations, share what you know, inspire others to learn, look inward and outward – and take actions toward real truth and reconciliation in support of our commitment to wellness for all, and to walking the path together in respect, peace and harmony for future generations.
We would like to share the Anishnaabeg teaching that honours Creator for giving humans these seven sacred gifts for guidance: love, truth, respect, wisdom, humility, honesty and bravery. Creator gave us sovereignty to govern ourselves. We respect and honour the past, present and future.