A step toward reconciliation
Guelph, Ont., September 27, 2023 – The City of Guelph has refreshed its territorial acknowledgement to better reflect the history and presence of Indigenous Peoples in Guelph. The new statement was adopted by Guelph City Council during the September 26 Council meeting and will be read at the beginning of each Council meeting and other official City events.
Over the past year, the City worked with Indigenous partners and community members to refresh the existing territorial acknowledgement. The process was guided by listening and learning with the goal of eliminating historical inaccuracies and correcting omissions in Guelph’s original acknowledgement.
“We wanted our territorial acknowledgement to really reflect the true Indigenous history of the place that is now known as Guelph. 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,” says Sara Sayyed, senior advisor for Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Initiatives.
The new territorial acknowledgement recognizes the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and that Guelph is situated on the traditional territory of the Attiwonderonk and the Haudenosaunee. It also references Guelph’s geographic proximity to the Haldimand Tract, and that Guelph is part of the long established traditional hunting grounds of Six Nations of the Grand River. The acknowledgement also celebrates the cultures, contributions, and resilience of all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples in Guelph.
“The City recognizes that a territorial acknowledgement is only one of many actions needed to advance reconciliation and strengthen our relationship with the Indigenous community,” adds Sayyed.
The adoption of the refreshed territorial acknowledgement comes just in time to mark this year’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. The day honours the survivors of the residential school program and remembers the children who never returned home along with their families and communities.
The City encourages community members to participate in events being held in Guelph and to wear orange to show support for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Guelph’s Market Square will be lit up from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on September 30 in honour of the day.
For more information about the City of Guelph’s territorial acknowledgement and efforts towards reconciliation, visit guelph.ca.
Sara Sayyed, Senior Advisor, Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous Initiatives
Strategy, Innovation and Intergovernmental Services
519-822-1260, extension 3509