The City of Mississauga is located on lands which were occupied by numerous Indigenous nations since time immemorial. Settlement and the eventual growth of the City was made possible with the signing of Treaties over 200 years ago.
Treaties are fundamental to the creation of Canada and are upheld in the Canadian Constitution. Treaties which were signed for the lands which make up the city were meant as a way of sharing the land, and allowing settlement to take place. Following consultation with our Treaty and traditional territory partners, the City uses the following Land Acknowledgement.
The second portion is the City’s statement on Reconciliation. This living document is updated to reflect our journey towards Reconciliation. Reconciliation, like the Treaties, are about living together on the land. However, Reconciliation is something we, as settlers and Canadians, are offering to our Indigenous partners to make up for past injustice, correct ongoing injustice, and honour the agreements which are fundamental to the creation of our city.
We use the following statements and encourage non-Indigenous people in the city to share and reflect on these words at gatherings in Mississauga. In the spirit of Reconciliation, you are encouraged to personalize these statements for a deeper expression of appreciation and commitment.
Land acknowledgements (also known as territorial acknowledgements) are short statements that recognize both the land and the Indigenous people who lived – and in many situations continue to live – on the land prior to Canada’s colonial history (according to the Canadian Encyclopedia). They offer a short story from the stand point of the Indigenous people who grew and evolved from the land.
Following the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action in 2015 and the final National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report in 2019, many non-Indigenous people and organizations began sharing land acknowledgement statements as a step towards learning the true history of Canada and beginning the journey to Reconciliation.
Meaningfully honouring the land and the Indigenous Peoples who call (and have called) the area their home long before the arrival of settlers is an important act of Reconciliation.
Whether reading or listening to a land acknowledgement statement, you should take time to reflect on the land you are on, learn about the Indigenous Peoples (both past and present) of the area and consider other ways to express your ongoing commitment to Reconciliation.
Given that a land acknowledgement is a way of recognizing and expressing gratitude to Indigenous communities for the use of their land, a person identifying as Indigenous should not be asked or held responsible for delivering a land acknowledgement statement. A land acknowledgement is a fundamental step towards Reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples and settlers.
Learn more about the City’s commitment to Reconciliation by contacting the Indigenous Relations Office.
John Dunlop, Manager, Indigenous Relations