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City updates its territorial acknowledgement

New territorial acknowledgement put together after a year of consultations

Some changes have been made to the city's territorial acknowledgement message, changes the city feels better reflects the true Indigenous history of the city.

The change was made official during Tuesday's council meeting by a unanimous decision.

The new acknowledgement will be read at the start of each council meeting and other city events moving forward.

"We took the time to listen and learn from local Indigenous Nations and community members and we’re happy to have a new acknowledgement that reflects Guelph’s rich Indigenous history and culture," Sara Sayyed, the city's senior advisor for equity, anti-racism and Indigenous initiatives, said in a news release.

She added the acknowledgement is one of many actions needed to advance reconciliation and strengthen the relationship with the Indigenous community.

The move comes after a year of consultations with Indigenous partners and community members.

It's a little longer than the previous acknowledgement, but now acknowledges Guelph's proximity to the Haldimand Tract, how it is part of the long standing traditional hunting grounds of Six Nations of the Grand River.

The city said the new acknowledgement also references how we're situated on the land of the Attiwonderonk and Haudenosaunee.

The new land acknowledgement reads as follows:

"As we gather, let us take time to reflect on our privilege to live and work in Guelph, a city built over rich Indigenous histories. We are guests here, and we should reflect upon the responsibility to care for this land, the people who live here today, and the generations to come. If our actions today can move us towards reconciliation, we should take pause and make those decisions with intention and gratitude.

"This place we call Guelph has served as traditional lands and a place of refuge for many peoples over time, but more specifically the Attiwonderonk (At-ti-wan-da-ronk), and the Haudenosaunee (Ho-den-no-show-nee). This land is held as the treaty lands and territory with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Guelph lies directly adjacent to the Haldimand Tract and is part of a long-established traditional hunting ground for the Six Nations of the Grand River. Many First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples who have come from across Turtle Island call Guelph home today."

For reference, the previous acknowledgement read:

“As we gather, we are reminded that Guelph is situated on treaty land that is steeped in rich Indigenous history and home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis people today. As a city we have a responsibility for the stewardship of the land on which we live and work. Today we acknowledge the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation of the Anishinaabek Peoples on whose traditional territory we are meeting.”

It comes ahead of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Saturday.


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