TBTN Happens on Stolen Land

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We’re excited to have Take Back the Night at Hamilton’s City Hall and also recognize that this land was not given up willingly by its original peoples.

This land acknowledgement was created by Laurier Public Research Interest Group:

WHAT IS A LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT?

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

WHY DO WE RECOGNIZE THE LAND?

To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honouring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also work noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.

WHOSE LAND ARE WE ON?

In Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Brantford we are on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples.

  • Anishnawbe peoples: Also known as Ojibway/Chippewa/Mississauga/Algonquin, original ancestral home was located on the north shore of Lake Huron, at the mouth of the Mississaugi River. During the 17th century, the Anishnawbe split, with groups migrating east to the Bay of Quinte and South into what is now known as south-western Ontario (from Toronto to Lake Erie). During the 18th century, the Anishnawbe began losing land due to European settlement and the northern movement of the Haudenosaunee into south-western Ontario. Today, Anishnawbe in south-western Ontario include the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Aamjiwnaang, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, and the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point.
  • Haudenosaunee peoples: Also known as Six Nations and Iroquois, are various nations that formed what is known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. It originally consisted of five Nations: Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, and Seneca, but in 1722, the Tuscarora joined to form the Six Nations. The Haudenosaunee reside in parts of Ontario and Upstate New York. The largest reserve in North America is the Six Nations of the Grand River, located near Branford, Ontario. Other communities where Haudenosaunee reside include Tyendinaga, Awkwesasne, and Oneida Nation of the Thames, to name a few.
  • Neutral peoples: Called the Neutrals due to their tendency to avoid conflict, and “Attawandaron” by the Hurons. They are made up of many distinct nations. They were decimated by colonial diseases during early colonization and any remaining members were mostly adopted into the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

Kitchener-Waterloo and Brantford are both located on the Haldimand Tract, which, on October 25, 1784, after the American Revolutionary War of Independence, was given to the Six Nations of the Grand River by the British as compensation for their role in the war and for the loss of their traditional lands in Upstate New York (www.sixnations.ca). Of the 950,000 acres given to the Haudenosaunee (six miles on either side of the Grand River, all the way along it’s length), only 46,000 acres (less than 5 per cent) remains Six Nations land (www.sixnations.ca).

It is important to note that Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses are both located on the Haldimand Tract.

HOW DO WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE LAND?

“We acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral peoples” 

  • Haudenosaunee (Ho-deh-no-show-nee)
  • Anishnawbe (Ah-nish-nah-bay)
  • Neutral / Attawandaron (At-ta-won-da-ron)

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

  • The person giving the acknowledgement should be the host of the event or meeting themselves
  • Include a formal thank you to the host nation whenever making a presentation or holding a meeting, whether or not Indigenous individuals are part of the meeting or gathering
  • If you do not know the name of the Nation on whose territory or treaty land the building sits, ask around; Friendship Centers, Aboriginal Student Centers, local Band Offices are always a good source of information
  • Ask the Friendship Center or Aboriginal Student Center for help with the pronunciation.
  • If that is not possible, call the band office of the Nation after hours and listen to the recording
  • Practice saying the name is the host nation out loud
  • A land acknowledgment is not something you “just do” before an event. Rather it is a reflection process in which you build mindfulness and intention walking into whatever gathering you are having. It should be rooted in the whose land you are honoured to stand on and should guide how you move forward in both conversations and actions.

MOVING BEYOND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Although it is important to acknowledge the land, it is only a first step. We are all treaty signers, and are thus responsible and accountable for the violence that Indigenous people face. Allyship is a continuous process; it is not a designation that one can earn and hold forevermore. It is also not a label one can give themselves, but one you earn from your actions and commitment to standing in solidarity.

Allies must continually engage in self-reflection, and must consistently work at being an ally (through learning, acting in a de-colonial manner, and sustaining relationships with Indigenous Peoples, etc.)

Here are some simple ways you can begin the ongoing and continual process of acting in solidarity with Indigenous folks in Canada:

  • Learn: About oppression and privilege. About the history of colonization. About Indigenous peoples and cultures. About the land you live on. To listen. There are many books, blogs, documentaries, Independent media sites, plays, and songs that Indigenous people have written and performed that are great places to start learning.
  • Build relationships: Building relationships is a very important aspect of standing in solidarity. A great place to start on campus is going to the Aboriginal Student Center, located at 187 Albert Street. in Waterloo and 111 Darling St. in Brantford. Both campuses host a soup lunch once a week that is open to everyone. In addition, many other events take place throughout the year. Follow them on Facebook or visit in person to see what they have going on!
  • Act: By being accountable towards Indigenous people and communities by supporting what they are saying is important, aligning oneself with the struggle, and speaking up when something problematic is said.

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 ‘Until all of us have made it none of us have made it.’ – Rosemary Brown

Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA, is a powerful opportunity for survivors and their supporters to actively build connections, assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against violence.
TBTN centers the experiences of women and gender non-conforming folks. We invite men to cheer on the march from Gore Park.
When: Thursday, September 28th, 2017
  • 6:00pm – We Gather
  • 7:00pm – We Rally
  • 7:30pm – We March
Where: Hamilton City Hall – 71 Main Street, Hamilton ON
More info:

We will have both an HSR and a DARTS buses following the march for folks who are not able to march.

If you are not able to march the entire route there is a short cut back to City Hall at Summers Lane near the Hamilton Convention Centre. There will be a TBTN marshal waiting there to walk with folks back to City Hall.

Have worries about the event? Read more about You Can March With Us and Reasons Not To Come to TBTN.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #TBTN2017.

For more information or to request ASL interpretation, contact SACHA:

905.525.4573
sacha@sacha.ca
http://www.sacha.ca

We are extremely grateful to all the folks that make Take Back the Night happen in Hamilton, especially Public Service Alliance of Canada WAWGClick here to help make TBTN thrive and to help SACHA support survivors and end sexual violence.

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Sacred Fire at TBTN

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We are excited to welcome back both the sacred fire and The Red Skirt Project as invited guests this year at Take Back the Night.

You might’ve seen the sacred fire at TBTN last year on the west forecourt near the SACHA table and the You Can March with Us table.

TBTN participants are invited to chat with members of the Red Skirt Project, offer tobacco (traditional medicine) and prayer into the sacred fire. The Red Skirt Project is an initiative created by The Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin ( I Am A Kind Man Program ) at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre and YEN:TENE (You and I will go there together) at the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic.

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All photos by Arora Maracle

The Red Skirt Project is a new Indigenous Men’s Initiative where Indigenous men and their Non-Indigenous male friends honor our Sisters, honor our Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and those identifying as Trans.

We are men taking a visible stand against the layered levels of violence our Sisters are dealing with every day.

We wear the red skirts to show our solidarity with our Sisters and to acknowledge their voices that they should no longer be silenced.

We wear the red skirts to show our Sisters that we acknowledge their powerful gifts of life, knowledge, wisdom and survival.

We stand united with our Sisters and accept our traditional responsibilities to support and help our Sisters fight against the violence they are living with.

By wearing the red skirts, we are showing our Sisters that we are equals for this is our teachings and our way of life.

We wear the red skirts in a good way so that we can join our Sisters fight in achieving the long overdue recognition that balance, harmony, peace, equality and safety be restored in their lives for this is our teachings and our way of life.

The red skirts are designed in a similar fashion to those that many traditional Women, Girls, those who identify as Trans and two spirited people would wear while engaged in Indigenous ceremony. Continue reading

THE PROBLEMS WITH ‘THE PROBLEM WITH FEMINISM’

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By James Dee

I don’t even know where to begin here, other than to express profound disappointment that we are doing this yet again. For those of you who do not follow The Hamilton Spectator, yesterday an Op-Ed was published called ‘The Problem with Feminism‘. If you don’t want to read it the TLDNR version is essentially: “feminism was once important, but now it is bad”, followed by a list of reasons that are all entirely not things. I cannot believe that we are doing this again, Hamilton Spectator.

I cannot believe that in 2017 there are still people who willfully misrepresent what feminism is, which is the belief that humans of all gender identities and expressions are deserving of equal rights, respect and treatment. Being critical of ‘the construct of feminism’ as a whole is not brave or original, it is oppressive and disgusting. Full stop. Continue reading

Draw the Line Workshops in HamOnt

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As part of Hamilton Public Library‘s Hamilton Reads Series (#HPLreads), HPL and SACHA are hosting four Draw the Line workshops.

Tuesday, October 3rd – Safe Partying

  • 3pm at Central Library: 55 York Blvd
  • 7pm at Waterdown Branch: 163 Dundas Street East

    Half of sexual assaults in Canada involve alcohol. This interactive session will give participants harm-reducing tools for ending alcohol facilitated sexual assault and online sexual violence.

Wednesday, October 4th – How to be an Ally to Survivors

  • 2:30pm at Ancaster Branch: 30 Wilson Street East
  • 7pm at Barton Street Branch: 571 Bartons Street East

    If a coworker, family member or friend told you they had been assaulted, would you know how to respond? This interactive session will get participants thinking through the best ways of supporting people we love who have experienced sexual abuse.

    For the Ancaster workshop please register ahead of time by calling – 905-648-6911.

Continue reading

You Can March With Us – Year Two

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TBTN Poster 2017Not sure what it will feel like to be at Take Back the Night? Don’t have an available friend to come with you? You are a kind person who wants to offer a friendly welcome to someone more nervous coming to TBTN?

Last year we created the You Can March With Us table at Take Back the Night.

This year we’re adding to the table to have  ‘You Can March With Us’ buttons.

If you’re into welcoming folks, please pick up a button. Anyone wearing a button is someone who is interested in meeting new TBTN participants who might be coming alone or might be nervous.

Jessica - You Can March With Us

TBTN Committee Member, Jessica, would be excited to march with you!

At the You Can March With Us table we have people whose specific task it is to make everyone feel welcome and more comfortable in attending the event. Continue reading

Telling Our Stories: Immigrant Women’s Resilience

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“Telling Our Stories” is a multi-lingual one-of-a-kind graphic novel created by immigrant women, to support immigrant women.

Join us for an interactive workshop to explore the graphic novel’s creation and stories as well as our own stories and strengths.

We’ll have free copies of the graphic novel for participants in multiple languages! Come meet other awesome incredible women in Hamilton.

Where: Hamilton Public Library, Central Library Wentworth Room – 55 York Boulevard, Hamilton ON

When: Sunday, September 10th
2pm: Welcome
2:30pm: Workshop begins
3:30: Food and socializing

Childcare and bus tickets provided. Please email if you need interpretation or any accommodations – crickett@sacha.ca

Presented by SACHA, Centre de santé, and Hamilton Public Library as part of the Hamilton Reads series. #HPLreads

Very thankful for the support of Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and MOFIF – the Ontarian Movement of Francophone Immigrant Women and the graphic novel’s funder – The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.