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Before you read anything about me, I’d like to quote an adaptation by the UoG of resources from the Jake Thomas Learning Centre, descriptive of one of the many ways the people of this region related to one another before being subject to colonial rule:

The Dish with One Spoon is an agreement between Hodinöhsö:ni', Anishinaabeg and their allied nations to live peaceably on the lands throughout what is now known as the Great Lakes Region. The circle at the centre is a dish with a beaver's tail, indicating that they will have one dish and what belongs to one will be shared among all. We are to eat of the beavertail, using no sharp utensils, to prevent the shedding of blood. We all share resources and everything the Creator has provided for us upon our arrival to Mother Earth. 


Guelph is seated in a region that has a history spanning many thousands of years, but today, this land is considered part of the Between the Lakes Purchase No. 3 Treaty of 1792. While this treaty was made between the British and the people of the Mississaugas of the Credit, this land was also shared with countless others, such as - in English - the Algonquin, Nipissing, Ojibwe, Odawa, Potawatomi peoples - these together are commonly referred to as Anishinaabe or Anishinaabek - or the Haudenosaunee, a confederacy formed of the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca who joined together with the Tuscarora to make the Six Nations. Today, Guelph is home to a diverse community of Indigenous people, particularly Inuit and Métis people, as well as people from various nations across the continent.

I’m grateful to be here, but it can’t be said that it’s by anyone’s permission.

All Indigenous nations whose territories are under occupation by the Canadian state are still subject to colonial rule and genocidal policy. None of the treaties between the Crown and those of Turtle Island are being observed in either letter or spirit. Without these treaties, this country could not exist by its own law, and it is the duty of all who live on this Land to abide by the agreements set out between our ancestors, with kindness and respect to the benefit of all peoples and the Land itself.

This city, along with every other region under the governance of the Canadian state, and every person of settler descent have a responsibility at the bare minimum to demand that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action are met as soon as possible as a first step towards true decolonization, whatever that may look like.

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