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Land Acknowledgement

At Child Witness Centre, we acknowledge that the land we work on lies in Treaty 3 Territory: Between the Lakes Purchase of 1792, an agreement between the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Crown. Our offices and work within the Region of Waterloo are situated within the lands of the Haldimand Treaty of 1784, which ‘unequivocally promised a tract of land six miles deep on each side of the Grand River from the river’s mouth to its source to Six Nations'.1 Today, the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples comprises less than 5% of the originally promised land.

We acknowledge that the work we carry out in Guelph and Wellington County is situated on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek peoples, specifically the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and lies directly adjacent to the lands of the Haldimand Treaty of 1784. These lands are protected by the Dish with One Spoon wampum.

As a leading organization in supporting children and youth who have experienced abuse and crime in our catchment area, we recognize the disproportionate effects Indigenous peoples, especially children, have faced because of colonization. We acknowledge that Indigenous children are nearly 1.4 times more likely to experience sexual and physical abuse as a child, as compared to non-indigenous peoples.2 We recognize the intergenerational trauma that continues to persist within Indigenous communities as a direct result of colonization and residential schools.

As we continue our work on the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples, we remain committed to reconciliation efforts. We commit to improving the welfare of Indigenous communities around us through actively listening, learning, and unlearning. We recognize our responsibility in advocating for Indigenous peoples, especially children, who are victims or witnesses of abuse and crime. We commit to looking deeply at our practices and altering any that may harm, reinforce systemic racism, and contribute to the ongoing legacy of colonialism. We also commit to working towards breaking down the systemic barriers that have been implemented within our society as a direct result of the ongoing colonial systems.

Child Witness Centre is grateful for the opportunity to work on the lands of our local Indigenous communities. As we continue our work within our communities, we commit to doing so in a respectful way that works towards Truth and Reconciliation.

This land acknowledgement was prepared by Kate DeBaets, Development Coordinator at Child Witness Centre. Kate is proud of her Métis roots and is passionate about supporting reconciliation and relationship building with Indigenous peoples.

1 “Land Rights.” Six Nations of the Grand River, 19 Dec. 2022, www.sixnations.ca/key-issues/land-rights.
2 Perreault, Samuel. “Victimization of First Nations People, Metis and Inuit in Canada.” Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, 19 July 2022, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2022001/article/00012-eng.htm.

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