The Pine Project operates on the land we now call Toronto, which has been a site of human activity for thousands of years. One origin of ‘Toronto’ is the Mohawk word ‘Tkaronto’, meaning “where the trees stand in the water.”* Tkaronto is part of the traditional territory of many Nations, including the Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Haudenosaunee, and most recently the Mississaugas of the Credit River (of the Anishnabeg Peoples).
We are so fortunate to learn and play in two historically significant Valleys of the city:
- The Lower Don also known as ‘Wonscotonach’, translating to “burning bright point” or “black burnt country”, may refer to the practice of torchlight salmon spearing on the river, or to the impact of fire on the landscape.* The Mississaugas of the Credit had a seasonal settlement here and fished and hunted the marshlands for muskrat, duck and deer.
- The Humber, also known as ‘Niwa’ah Onega’gaih’ih’ or “little thundering waters.”* For at least 12,000 years an Indigenous trail followed the edge of the bluffs along this section of the Humber River valley. Just up river from where we gather weekly is Baby’s Point, a neighbourhood built on the same spot as ‘Teiaiagon,’ once a village of the Seneca and later the Mississaugas of the Credit.
We extend our deep gratitude to the generations of People – past and present – who have tended this land, the Dish with One Spoon Territory. We acknowledge the abiding wisdom of the Dish with One Spoon treaty between the Anishnabeg and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. The ‘Dish’ represents what is now known as southern Ontario; we all eat out of the dish with only one spoon, ensuring that our dish is never empty. This symbolizes our ongoing roles and responsibilities of sustaining the land and treating each other and all living things with equity and respect.
Today, Toronto is home to many First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples from across Turtle Island. We acknowledge the history and ongoing process of colonization, and recognize that in order to realize the promise and challenge of reconciliation, acknowledgement must be coupled with action. At the Pine Project, we are embarking on a journey of understanding and realizing our responsibility to reconciliation, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Principles of Reconciliation and Calls to Action. We seek to move forward with humility, respect, gratitude and meaningful relationship building.
*We respectfully acknowledge the many histories and several translations associated with the history of this land.