Ongoing processes of colonialism have profoundly shaped and affected relations between the Canadian State and First Nations, and non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples. Settler consciousness, which permeates through nearly every aspect of mainstream society, has allowed colonial practices and narratives to remain dominant within Canada.
What follows is a collaborative collection of past, present, and ongoing initiatives from across the territory now known as Canada, which contribute to the process of understanding and transforming settler consciousness, and rebuilding relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples who share this land.
To navigate the collection, which is presented in the form of a prolific blog, you can select particular topics and sectors using the Categories and Tags sections on the right sidebar.
Two Row on the Grand was an event hosted by Six Nations on July 24, 2019 to August 1, 2019. It was a symbolic representation of the Two Row Treaty that was put into action over 500 years ago. The goal was to bring the Treaty to life by paddling down the Grand River from Five Oaks to Port Maitland in two rows. The paddling in two rows— one Indigenous line and one settler/immigrant line—was to demonstrate a simple concept of what the Two Wampum Treaty represents and means for both Indigenous and settler Canadians. The teachings from this was that we can in harmony paddle parallel down the river as friends and allies without disrupting each other’s way of life. Also included during this event were educational teachings, interactive dances, story telling and sharing circles at the end of the day during the voyage. All participants camped out beside the river throughout the voyage as well. As of right now this was an one-time event.
This toolkit was created as a response to the 2015 TRC. The goal is to assist social workers in decolonizing their practices through a self-reflective process and by offering supportive ideas for decolonizing at the individual, workplace and community levels. Continue reading
Primary Colours is an art-related Initiative focusing on decentering the western art lens and bringing Indigenous and people of colour to the centre of art and knowledge in Canada. This shift is accomplished through gatherings, public presentations, incubation projects, residence, analysis of art landscape, research commissions and the website. They also work with a five step decolonizing strategy: decolonizing lens, Indigenous- influenced protocols, the 5 R’s, the 4 Inters and the 4 phases. Their website is a rich source of information and thought-provoking dialogue on decolonizing relationships between indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through art and creativity.
Water First is a Canadian based program that attempts to address water issues that affect many Indigenous communities through education, training and meaningful collaboration. They strive to create collaborative programs with Indigenous communities using Indigenous knowledge, traditions, customs and values to ensure long term sustainable solutions for the water crisis. Continue reading
Community Voices for Manoomin is a community-based advocacy group in the Kawartha Lakes region in central Ontario. The group is made up of Indigenous and non-Indigenous members who advocate and support the rejuvenated and continued traditional harvesting of Manoomin (wild rice). Continue reading
The creation of National Parks in Canada meant the sequestering of lands and removal of Indigenous peoples from their traditional territories as well as ways of life in order to create nature reserves and tourist areas managed by the colonial state. Parks Canada has been working in tandem with Indigenous communities in order to foster more inclusivity in public parks discourse and decision making. Continue reading
The Nogijiwanong Project was developed between local Indigenous communities and the city of Peterborough, Ontario, in recognition of the 200th anniversary of Rice Lake Treaty No. 20, one of the treaties that governs this area. Nogijiwanong, is the Anishinaabeg word for “place at the foot of the rapids,” which describes a gathering space at the bottom of the Otonabee River. This area was renamed Peterborough by settlers. Continue reading
The Ontario government is working towards reconciliation by recognising the colonial practices of treaty making which worked to “exploit, assimilate and eradicate” (Ontario.ca) Indigenous peoples. In a step towards reconciliation, the Ontario government has recognised the first week of November of each year as Treaty Week. This is a time for Ontarians to learn and teach others what it means to be a treaty person. This weblink provides useful free resources in order to teach and learn about treaties and treaty responsibilities in Ontario.