TNC gratefully acknowledges that the land on which it operates has been from time immemorial the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. This land is home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. Tkaranto (or Toronto) is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit Nation.
For Indigenous Peoples colonialism has never ended. Their rights as Sovereign Nations, as enshrined in Treaties, are being violated. Their inherent connection to land and other all-life-sustaining resources have been dismantled over the last five hundred years.
The City of Toronto estimates that currently there are 70,000 Indigenous persons living in Toronto. For generations, they have been facing multiple and systemic issues – racism, homelessness, poverty, to name a few – that stem from on-going settler-colonialism. In many Indigenous languages there aren’t words to name these issues because historically they faced none of them. Thus, settler-resettlement is inescapably implicated in the ongoing dispossession of Indigenous Peoples.
In this context, TNC’s commitments begin with the unlearning of many things learned about North America, and re-learning the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures and worldviews, Indigenous Treaty rights and settler responsibilities, and seriously engaging in deconstructing settler-privilege. Advocating for justice and receiving advice from Indigenous Peoples in TNC operations are important measures of reconciliation on an ongoing basis. We recognize that dealings with Indigenous Peoples by the Canadian state should be done on a nations-to-nation basis .
TNC acknowledges that because of on-going settler-colonialism the impacts of oppressions on Indigenous Peoples are substantially different from those on oppressed settler populations. We are aware that other than Indigenous Peoples and descendants of Black people who were enslaved, all other communities are considered settlers. Settler privilege comes with settler-commitments and responsibilities for Indigenous Peoples. It is with this understanding that we work together to advocate for the systemic issues faced by Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC).