For thousands of years as well as to this day, Indigenous Nations called this land home far before the arrival of settlers. Their original treaties with other Indigenous tribes were always negotiated using a Dish with One Spoon agreement. This meant that any person who uses the land does so sustainably, so that the "dish" (or land) will never be empty. The land would be taken care of and shared by all who were in the agreement.
Settlers did not perform land treaties in the same way, their agreements meant private ownership and the right to do whatever the owner wanted to the land. Once the settlers arrived and forced their version of land agreements on the Indigenous Nations, their sustainably managed lands were taken and exploited. The dish has become empty in many locations across North America.
Today, we are all living together on these lands and we must acknowledge, respect, and learn from these past and present relationships.
Goderich resides in the traditional territory of Anishinabek Nation, Odawa Nation, and Mississauga Nation. We wish to acknowledge these Nations as our community partners and the traditional inhabitants of this land we work on.
But land acknowledgement is just the beginning of supporting Indigenous communities. As a grassroots group, we are continuing to increase our knowledge around traditional territories and how significant the Indigenous peoples’ connection to the land is in the fight against climate change.
If you wish to know what land you reside or work on either as a group or just for your own personal home, please check out Native Land Map. But remember, make sure this is just the start of your Indigenous educational journey. We recommend reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer as a great second step to learn about the Indigenous connection to the land.