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Forest Trail

Territorial Acknowledgement

The Trail Research Hub respectfully acknowledges and recognizes the
relationship that the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People of Turtle Island
have with the lands now known as Canada.

While the work of the Trail Research Hub spans all of Canada, we are headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, which is located on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to
many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

The treaties that speak most to the land the city of Toronto occupies are Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit in 1805, and the Williams Treaties of 1923 signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. Additionally, this territory is covered by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Anishinaabe Three Fires Confederacy (Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi Nations) and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora) to peaceably share and care for the lands around the Great Lakes and reflects the principles that were given to the Haudenosaunee by the Peacemaker in the Kaienerekowa (Great Law of Peace).

We are all treaty people. 

Our Commitment

The Trail Research Hub offers this Territorial Acknowledgement to reaffirm our commitment to, and responsibility in, improving relationships between nations and to improving our collective understanding of Indigenous peoples and their cultures.

From coast to coast to coast, the Trail Research Hub acknowledges the ancestral, unceded, and abiding territories of all the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people that call Turtle Island home. The Trail Research Hub recognizes the many Nations of Indigenous People who presently live on this land, those who have spent time here, and the ancestors who have hunted and gathered on this land, known as Turtle Island.

We are all treaty people, with our own set of rights and responsibilities, and treaties are a foundational part of our society.  The existence of treaties, such as these, are proof that the first settlers of what is now known as Canada acknowledged Indigenous Nations as sovereign peoples and negotiated with them Nation to Nation. 

We recognize that our Hub Team members, Friends of the Hub organizations, and Community Collaborators all live, work, and recreate in different places which often are located on different traditional Indigenous territories from the Hub's headquarters, and commit to working with these communities in a good way, to working to improve our understanding of the unique cultural and lived histories of these peoples and places, including experiences of colonization, and to do so in a way that actively engages with the spirit and intention of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)'s 94 Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

 

Of particular relevance to our work are the following Calls to Action from the TRC:

  • Call to Action 47

    • We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous peoples and lands, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius, and to reform those laws, government policies, and litigation strategies that continue to rely on such concepts.
       

  • Call to Action 49

    • We call upon all religious denominations and faith groups who have not already done so to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius. 
       

  • Call to Action 79

    • We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal organizations, and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration. This would include, but not be limited to: 

      1. Amending the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and its Secretariat.

      2. Revising the policies, criteria, and practices of the National Program of Historical Commemoration to integrate Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history. 

      3. Developing and implementing a national heritage plan and strategy for commemorating residential school sites, the history and legacy of residential schools, and the contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canada’s history.
         

  • Call to Action 87

    • We call upon all levels of government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, sports halls of fame, and other relevant organizations, to provide public education that tells the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history.
       

  • Call to Action 88

    • We call upon all levels of government to take action to ensure long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth, and continued support for the North American Indigenous Games, including funding to host the games and for provincial and territorial team preparation and travel.
       

  • Call to Action 89

    • We call upon the federal government to amend the Physical Activity and Sport Act to support reconciliation by ensuring that policies to promote physical activity as a fundamental element of health and well-being, reduce barriers to sports participation, increase the pursuit of excellence in sport, and build capacity in the Canadian sport system, are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples.
       

  • Call to Action 90

    • We call upon the federal government to ensure that national sports policies, programs, and initiatives are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples, including, but not limited to, establishing: 

      1. In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, stable funding for, and access to, community sports programs that reflect the diverse cultures and traditional sporting activities of Aboriginal peoples. 

      2. An elite athlete development program for Aboriginal athletes. 

      3. Programs for coaches, trainers, and sports officials that are culturally relevant for Aboriginal peoples. 

      4. Anti-racism awareness and training programs.
         

  • Call to Action 91

    • We call upon the officials and host countries of international sporting events such as the Olympics, Pan Am, and Commonwealth games to ensure that Indigenous peoples’ territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in such events.
       

  • Call to Action 92

    • We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. This would include, but not be limited to, the following: 

      1. Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects. 

      2. Ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects. 

      3. Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.
         

As is the following Article from the UNDRIP:

  • Article 31

    • Right to maintain, control, protect & develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge & traditional cultural expressions, as well as manifestations of their sciences, technologies &  cultures, including human & genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of properties of fauna & flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports & traditional games & visual & performing arts

    • Right to maintain, control, protect & develop their intellectual property over such knowledge & culture
       

The Trail Research Hub's work is governed by the principles: share, foster, and create. This includes sharing in the responsibility to move reconciliation efforts forward, fostering intercultural understanding and respect, and creating opportunities for everyone to benefit from trails, including supporting trails as opportunities to learn about Indigenous persons' and communities' experiences of colonization.

This also means being open to receiving guidance from the communities with whom we work, including how to build collaborative relationships with Indigenous groups in the right way and as they actively work to address issues of land sovereignty, develop opportunities for economic development through trail-based tourism and recreation projects, and connect with the land, culture and each other, through land- and trail-based experiences.

By working to understand the colonial history of Canada, we can renew our relationships with each other and move towards mutual understanding, respect, reciprocity, and meaningful reconciliation.

Our Commitment

Trails and Reconciliation

Reconciliation is about education, truth, acknowledgement, and restoration. Trails, and their accompanying infrastructure, provide an opportunity both symbolically and educationally, for reconciliation through the intercultural understanding they can foster, the educational opportunities they provide, and the moments of reflection they create. 

Trail development also provides meaningful opportunities for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and communities to restore, and reaffirm, their sovereignty over and stewardship of traditional territories and lands, while providing meaningful connections to places and spaces where traditional activities can be practiced, including the sharing of land-based and oral intergenerational teachings and learnings.

We invite you to be present and to think about how you can support the process of reconciliation as a member of the Canadian trails sector, as well as through your own trail-based recreation and tourism engagement.

You can learn more about the people, territories and treaties of the lands that you live, work, and recreate on by visiting: www.native-land.ca or www.whose.land/en/.

Forest Trail

Share.                Foster.                 Create.