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Final Assignment: #TreatyTalkTO

Gabriel Holt

Multiplatform Content Creation

3/8/2019
PLATFORM 1: TWITTER
Sample Tweet 1
Sample Tweet 2
Sample Tweet 3
PLATFORM 2: ARTICLE
NOTE:

I am using the same format for this assignment as for my midterm project because I
think that a NOW Magazine article would be more effective and far-reaching than an
article in the NCCT newsletter.

I have re-used the treaty descriptions from the FAQ platform. Additionally, I have left
the hypothetical panel discussion out of this article, as I left the panel out of the final
pitch.

#TreatyTalkTO: What You Should


Know About Toronto’s Treaties
BY GABRIEL HOLT

MARCH 8, 2019 5:30 pm

WHAT IS #TREATYTALKTO?
#TreatyTalkTO is a campaign by the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto to raise
awareness about the treaties that govern Toronto.

WHY SHOULD I BE AWARE OF TREATIES?


As settlers on the land that sustains this city, we are beholden to the treaties that
govern the land. It is impossible to be accountable for the treaty responsibilities if
we are not aware of the treaties in the first place.
WHAT TREATIES GOVERN TORONTO?
The treaties that govern the land Toronto occupies are The Dish With One Spoon
Wampum Belt Treaty, the Two-Row Wampum Belt Treaty, and the Toronto
Purchase Treaty.

The Dish With One Spoon Treaty


The Dish With One Spoon Treaty was originally an agreement between groups of
Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee nations. The image of the dish represents the
bounty of the land, and the one spoon represents a shared responsibility to care
for the land. Since the treaty was established, other Indigenous nations and settlers
have been invited into this agreement.

The Two-Row Wampum Treaty


The Two-Row Wampum Treaty (or Guswenta, or Kaswentha) was originally a treaty
between Haudenosaunee nations and Dutch settlers. This treaty is considered the
basis of Haudenosaunee relationships with all European nations and settlers. The
two rows represent co-existence and mutual support between Indigenous and non-
Indigenous people, but also a policy of non-interference and independence
between them.

The Toronto Purchase Treaty, No. 13


The Toronto Purchase was an 1805 land sale agreement between English settlers
and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. However, this initial
agreement was suspect. In 1986, the Mississaugas filed a claim against the
Government of Canada, arguing that the government had taken more land than
was agreed upon and that the original sum paid to the Mississaugas was not
adequate. In 2010, the agreement was re-settled, and the government
compensated the Mississaugas $145 million.

HOW CAN I UPHOLD TREATIES?


This is a complicated question and one that has no single answer. However, there
are many things that we – as non-Indigenous people – can do to uphold the spirit of
the treaties.

One thing that settlers can do is to reflect on our own personal relationship with
this land. Were we born here? Were our ancestors? Did we previously live on other
Indigenous land? Was the land governed by other treaties? What treaties are those?
Which Indigenous peoples were involved?
As we reflect, we can learn about the place of land in our personal and family
histories.

Another thing that we can do is learn about the treaties that govern the land we live
on now, and the place of the treaties in modern relationships between Indigenous
and non-Indigenous peoples. It is also important to acknowledge that treaties are
living, breathing entities, just as the land we live on is a living, breathing entity. They
can change over time, as can their terms and our responsibilities.

To understand the terms of the treaties, we can learn from Indigenous people. We
can ask about Indigenous laws and principles. We can earn about land sovereignty
and land stewardship. We can challenge the colonial idea of land ownership.
Decolonizing our understanding of land occupancy is an important part of
honouring treaties. We, as occupants of the land, are not the land’s owners, but
rather its stewards, and we are responsible for its well-being.

Finally, we must respect and protect the land we live on. This goes further than not
littering; responsibilities to care for the land go deeper than that. For example, we
could join in protest or solidarity actions against policies that are harmful to the
land.

In honouring treaties, we are not only doing the best thing for the land but for all
the people that share it.

@nowtoronto

Tags Indigenous rights, reconciliation, treaties, First Nations


PLATFORM 3: TTC AD
PLATFORM 4: FAQ

FAQ: Treaties and Indigenous Land


What treaties govern Tkaronto (Toronto)?
The Dish With One Spoon Treaty
The Dish With One Spoon Treaty was originally an agreement between groups of Anishinaabe
and Haudenosaunee nations. The image of the dish represents the bounty of the land, and the
one spoon represents a shared responsibility to care for the land. Since the treaty was
established, other Indigenous nations and settlers have been invited into this agreement.

The Two-Row Wampum Treaty


The Two-Row Wampum Treaty (or Guswenta, or Kaswentha) was originally a treaty between
Haudenosaunee nations and Dutch settlers. This treaty is considered the basis of
Haudenosaunee relationships with all European nations and settlers. The two rows represent
co-existence and mutual support between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, but also a
policy of non-interference and independence between them.

The Toronto Purchase Treaty, No. 13


The Toronto Purchase was an 1805 land sale agreement between English settlers and the
Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. However, this initial agreement was suspect. In
1986, the Mississaugas filed a claim against the Government of Canada, arguing that the
government had taken more land than was agreed upon and that the original sum paid to the
Mississaugas was not adequate. In 2010, the agreement was re-settled, and the government
compensated the Mississaugas $145 million.
For the image source and more information about the Toronto Purchase, visit the Mississaugas
of the New Credit First Nation webpage about the treaty.

Why call do some people call Toronto “Tkaronto”?


“Tkaronto” is a Haudenosaunee (Mohawk/Kanienʼkehá꞉ka) term for this area. Calling the city by
one of its Indigenous names acknowledges the relationship of Indigenous people to this land.
Some Indigenous people would prefer not to use only one Indigenous name for the city,
however, as this does not acknowledge the many Indigenous peoples who have called this
place home.

What is the Indian Act?


The Indian Act is a piece of legislation from 1876 that remains part of Canadian law today. It
defines the relationship between the Canadian government and First Nations peoples.
The Act allows the government to control First Nations healthcare, land use, education, and
more. Historically, it has been used to deny the rights and sovereignty of First Nations people.

What is sovereignty?
Sovereignty is the Indigenous right to self-determination and self-government. It is the basis for
nation-to-nation relationships between Indigenous nations and colonial governments.
Land sovereignty, by extension, is Indigenous control over Indigenous land.
What is unceded territory?
While ceded territory is Indigenous land that was “given” away in a treaty, unceded territory is
land that was never given away in a treaty or otherwise surrendered to the Canadian
government. Unceded territory should still be under Indigenous jurisdiction (though the
Canadian government often does not acknowledge this).
For example, the territory currently being disputed for the Coastal GasLink pipeline is unceded
territory. This land is the historical territory of the Wet’suwet’en people, and under the
Delgamuukw decision, the Wet’suwet’en still hold legal, sovereign control over the land.

What are reserves?


Reserves are areas of land (specified under the Indian Act) that are designated for bands of
First Nations people. Most of these lands were established through treaties. It is important to
acknowledge that reserve lands are not necessarily on the traditional territories of the bands
that were placed there.

What is a land acknowledgement?


A land acknowledgement is a statement that recognizes the historic and current relationship of
Indigenous peoples to the land. An effective land acknowledgement will also invite listeners to
reflect on their own relationship to the land and its peoples, and call listeners to work for justice.

What is the difference between land ownership and land


stewardship?
Land ownership is a colonial concept that defines land as property. Land ownership means that
people can possess land and have the right to control it.
Land stewardship is an Indigenous concept that defines land as a living entity that must be
sustained. Land stewardship means that people do not own and control land, but rather have a
responsibility to care for it.

What is reconciliation?
Reconciliation is a loaded term. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada defines
reconciliation as a process “establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship”
between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.
How does this process occur? Non-Indigenous people must first acknowledge the ongoing
harms done to Indigenous peoples through colonization. Then, non-Indigenous people must
redress the causes of harm as well as change harmful behaviours.

Where can I learn more?


For conversation about treaties, join people in the #TreatyTalkTO hashtag on Twitter.
The Native Canadian Centre has created a free app for Torontonians to learn about the
Indigenous history of this land. You can download the First Story app for free Android or iOS, or
visit the First Story blog to learn more.
Additional Resources
Maps of Indigenous lands and treaties
- Nativeland.ca
- Government map of historical (pre-1930) treaties
- Ontario First Nations maps

Articles and blog posts


- Sovereignty
- Treaty Myths
- Beyond Territorial Acknowledgements

Other resources
- Ogimaa Mikana: Renaming/Reclaiming Project
- The City of Toronto’s land acknowledgement