The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) recognizes that the province of Ontario is home to many Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) as well as other diverse communities: settlers, newcomers, those who have been displaced – whether from their traditional territories or from their home countries – and the descendants of those who were forcibly brought to this continent.
The OAC’s land acknowledgment is a recognition not only of the first peoples of the territories where we are located, but also of the responsibility that we, as inhabitants, have in understanding our relationship to the land and our place within its history. It is also an opportunity to consider how OAC operates in relationship with Indigenous colleagues as well as Indigenous assessors, artists, organizations and the other stakeholders that we serve.
The OAC also recognizes that a land acknowledgment is a living statement – one which evolves over time and has meaning each time it is expressed.
As an agency with the mandate to support the creation and production of art for the benefit of all Ontarians, OAC serves communities across the province and increasingly in the virtual space. The OAC recognizes the diversity of Indigenous peoples and communities in all regions of Ontario and would like to specifically acknowledge the territories where OAC operations take place.
The OAC’s office is in Toronto, or Tkaronto, which is home to and meeting place of many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island. We acknowledge the diversity of the first peoples of this area – the Huron-Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. The OAC’s Northwestern Representative is located in Thunder Bay, situated on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg. Members of the Métis Nation also reside in and contribute to the community.
OAC staff and board members live in various territories in Ontario and in their work for OAC are frequent guests among other host nations. During this time when we are working outside of our offices, OAC staff may acknowledge other Indigenous territories where they are temporarily located.
The OAC is grateful to have the opportunity to work as a guest in communities and territories across the province, and we honour the stewardship of the many Indigenous peoples who have resided on these lands since time immemorial.
The Petawawa River is situated on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation.