The University of Guelph will host several events for community members during Treaties Recognition Week, Nov. 6-12.
The Ontario government established Treaties Recognition Week in 2016 to highlight the importance of honouring treaties involving relationships with First Nations peoples and lands.
Dr. Cara Wehkamp, assistant vice-president (Indigenous initiatives), said U of G campuses reside on lands with rich First Nations histories and ongoing treaty relationships:
- The Guelph campus resides on the lands of the Between the Lakes Treaty (No. 3)
- The Guelph-Humber campus resides on the lands of the Toronto Purchase (No. 13)
- The Ridgetown Campus resides on the lands of the McKee Purchase (No. 2)
Wehkamp said information about treaties and treaty partners should be included in land acknowledgments.
For groups and individuals looking to write a suitable land acknowledgment, she pointed to a video called Land Acknowledgements and Why They Matter (transcript). The video was written, produced and directed by Ryan Matheson, a graduate student in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, working with local Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members.
U of G’s Indigenous Student Centre will host three educational events during Treaties Recognition Week for U of G community members, as follows:
Acknowledging Indigenous Lands - Nov. 8
This event will discuss the context and process for land acknowledgments, including their intent and how to develop a personal practice for acknowledging the land. Facilitated by Wehkamp, the event is intended to help participants start crafting their own land acknowledgments. As spots for this event in the University Centre are limited, participants must register.
Robbin Vanstone, a member of the Bear Clan of the Mohawk Nation and former consultation supervisor for Six Nations of the Grand River, Lands and Resources Department, will discuss treaties, including the Two Row Wampum, Dish with One Spoon Covenant and 1701 Nanfan Treaty, and what treaties meant to Indigenous peoples before colonization. The event will take place in University Centre 442, 1-3 p.m.
We are all Treaty people – Nov. 10
This Circle will focus on the significance of treaties as the foundation of the building of Canada. Participants will explore the meaning of treaties, ask questions and participate in discussions about land and relationships. Facilitated by Elder Jan Sherman, this event will take place at U of G’s Indigenous Student Centre, 1-2:30 p.m.
Dr. Cara Wehkamp