FCJ Refugee Centre is located in Tkaronto, now known as Toronto, which in Mohawk means “where there are trees standing in the water.”
Today, Tkaronto is covered under Treaty #13 and the Williams Treaties. It is the traditional territories of many First Peoples, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples.
These nations continue to experience ongoing colonization and displacement– where land acknowledgements are offered in place of land itself.
This territory is part of ‘the Dish with One Spoon’ wampum, a Treaty made between the Anishinaabe, Mississauga, and Haudenosaunee, where nations entered into an agreement to protect the land and responsibly care for its resources in harmony together.
As settlers, newcomers, refugees, and Indigenous peoples, we have all been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship, and respect.
We are also mindful of broken treaties, as well as the violence of settler colonialism that has continued to oppress, dispossess and displace peoples across Turtle Island today. And so, at this time, we turn our minds to the people of Gaza, under a relentless siege, subject to evacuation orders with nowhere to go… and to the brutality of a 16-yearlong blockade that has trapped Gazans in an open-air prison. In two weeks since October 7th, 2023, more than 4,000 people have been killed in Gaza (including 1,500 children), over 13,000 wounded, and more than one million have been internally displaced.
We also turn our minds to Israelis – more than 1,400 people killed by Hamas’s attacks on October 7th, 2023, nearly 200 hostages, and the heartbreak of families unable to confirm the whereabouts or safety of missing children.
We recognize our responsibilities as Treaty people to speak the truth, search for peace and demand justice; and engage in a meaningful, continuous process of truth and reconciliation with all our relations.
FCJ Refugee Centre, October 20, 2023
* This Land Acknowledgement is reproduced, in part, from The 519, “We Are All Treaty People”: https://www.the519.org/land-acknowledgement/