Wilfrid Laurier University strives to improve its relationship with the land and people with whom we share it. As such, it is important to further our understanding of the long-standing history that has brought Laurier to reside on the land, and to seek to understand our place within that history.
Both Kitchener-Waterloo and Brantford have large urban Indigenous populations – 10,000 and 8,000, respectively – and our campuses are close to 18 First Nations communities and 12 Métis councils. The Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations are only a 15-minute drive from our Brantford campus.
Acknowledging them reminds us of our important connection to this land where we live, learn and work. We recognize, honour and respect these Nations as the traditional stewards, since time immemorial, of the lands and water on which Laurier is now present.
Laurier's Waterloo and Brantford campuses are located on the shared traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabe (Anish-nah-bay) and Haudenosaunee (Hoe-den-no-show-nee) peoples. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon Treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabe peoples and symbolizes the agreement to share, protect our resources and not to engage in conflict.
From the Haldimand Proclamation of Oct. 25, 1784, this territory is described as: “six miles deep from each side of the river (Grand River) beginning at Lake Erie and extending in the proportion to the Head of said river, which them and their posterity are to enjoy forever.” The proclamation was signed by the British with their allies, the Six Nations, after the American Revolution. Despite being the largest reserve demographically in Canada, those nations now reside on less than five per cent of this original territory.
Laurier's Milton campus will be located on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and part of the Nanfan Treaty of 1701. We are working with our Indigenous partners and colleagues to ensure that we are appropriately acknowledging those lands and their stewardship.
“Four Seasons of Reconciliation” is an online cultural literacy training course created in collaboration with First Nations University of Canada. It offers a concise primer on the truths and implications of the historical and contemporary relationship between Indigenous Peoples and those who settled on their lands in Canada.
“Four Seasons of Reconciliation” is available to Laurier students, faculty and staff on MyLearningSpace.
For further reading on the history of the land, Laurier recommends the following: