As we gather on the sacred land upon which Tarragon is built, Tarragon acknowledges that we all are a part of a larger ecosystem within our community, Tkaronto, where Tarragon Theatre lives and operates – and that we also commit ourselves and in turn energize our audiences to continually reflect on and respond to our relationship to the land around us. This country has been cared for by generations of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nations, and the land from which Tarragon rests and is able to share this story has been cherished and protected by, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, the Wendat, and the Mississaugas of the Credit.
Toronto is a word that originates from the Mohawk word “Tkaronto,” meaning “the place in the water where the trees are standing,” which is said to refer to the wooden stakes that were used as fishing weirs in the narrows of local river systems by the Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat. The paths we still walk today, from Davenport to Dupont, are built on the portage trails first established and walked by Indigenous peoples.
It is in the spirit of being on the portage route that we invoke our local Indigenous oral history – though covered up by the industrial progress of Toronto – and maintain that those stories are not lost.
We are committed to engaging with these communities in meaningful ways that open dialogue, while acknowledging our own history. We look towards a recognition of our shared humanity to create deeper community connection and accountability.
Tarragon’s recognition of the contributions and the historic significance of Indigenous peoples to this land is directly connected to our promise to meet the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation. Making our commitment real in our work and through our community building. In particular, at this time, Tarragon and members of our staff have made financial contributions to organizations that seek to bring justice to the survivors of residential schools and their families.
If you would also like to donate please we recommend these local organizations:
Tarragon would also like to suggest taking some time with the NCTR – National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation; A government site working to incorporate Indigenous perspectives, values, laws and protocols, creating something new and striving to decolonize and build on principles of respect, honesty, wisdom, courage, humility, love and truth.
We also suggest looking at these resources with some further information about Land Acknowledgments and their importance:
https://www.whose.land/en/ : Canada
https://native-land.ca/ : The world
Rethinking the Practice and Performance of Indigenous Land Acknowledgement: https://uwaterloo.ca/faculty-association/sites/ca.faculty-association/files/uploads/files/rethinking_the_practice_and_performance_of_indigenous_land_acknowledgement_a.pdf
A Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant exercise: https://canadianart.ca/features/how-to-share-stuff/
Talking Treaties: https://talkingtreaties.ca/