Our Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
We would like to honour the land that we are on, which has been the site of Indigenous residence since time immemorial. Toronto Humane Society is situated upon the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples. Toronto is still home to many First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples from across Turtle Island. This territory is governed by The Dish with One Spoon Wampum treaty, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the land and its resources.
We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit. Living and working on this territory makes all people in Toronto Treaty people, including those who have come as settlers, or immigrants of this generation or generations past, as well as those who were brought forcibly as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
We are mindful of broken covenants and acknowledge the cultural, economic, and psychological harm done to Indigenous communities by colonial practices, discriminatory policies, and white-supremacist institutions.
We understand that land acknowledgment is an important, but only an initial step in the ongoing reconciliation process; advancing meaningful reconciliation must move beyond good intentions, superficial reforms, and symbolic gestures. Hence, we recognize our responsibility as an organization, and as individuals, in pushing for real accountability and transformative change, including implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We are committed to learning, celebrating, and paying tribute to Indigenous histories, cultures, and worldviews. As an animal welfare organization, we are particularly inspired by Indigenous environmental stewardship and the spiritual significance of human-animal relationships in Indigenous cultures. We look forward to strengthening our relationships with Indigenous communities and learning and engaging with Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers, as we strive to eradicate the root causes of animal vulnerability and build a more compassionate world.
For some Indigenous peoples, Turtle Island refers to the continent of North America. The name comes from various Indigenous oral histories that tell stories of a turtle that holds the world on its back. For some Indigenous peoples, the turtle is therefore considered an icon of life, and the story of Turtle Island consequently speaks to various spiritual and cultural beliefs.
About Mo Thunder: Mo (they/them) is a nonbinary/fluid, neurodivergent multidisciplinary artist and facilitator who grew up in a small town along the St. Clair River, they currently live in T’karonto (Toronto), which has been home for over a decade. They are Haudenosaunee (Oneida Nation of the Thames), French-Canadian and Anishinaabe (Aamjiwnaang First Nation).
Through their multidisciplinary art practice (painting, murals, mixed media, beading, journaling, poetry and textiles), they create visual stories about their lived experiences in connection to their personal healing. Mo is also inspired by intergenerational connections and healing, family and memories, personal and collective empowerment, and all of creation, especially skyworld.