Newmarket unveils Land Acknowledgement plaque in recognition of all indigenous people
On June 19, the Town of Newmarket officially unveiled a permanent Land Acknowledgement plaque to show their appreciation to all indigenous people for sharing the Newmarket lands with the community. This event, while practicing physical distancing measures, was done in partnership with the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation.
"Today is a very important day and step for Newmarket in becoming a more inclusive community." says Mayor John Taylor. "The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has taught us that we need to have more meaningful and ongoing dialogue within our community and with our Indigenous neighbours to better understand the impacts of historic injustices and how to participate in a better future. This Indigenous land acknowledgement plaque may be the first to be permanently erected on a Town or City Hall in Ontario and we are proud as a Council to be taking this step. I would like to thank Chief Big Canoe of the Chippewa's of Georgina Island First Nation and her Council for their guidance in relation to this plaque and we thank them for their willingness to engage with Newmarket as we strengthen our relationships with them and Indigenous people living in our community."
"We would like to thank the Mayor of Newmarket and his Council for taking the initiative to create a relationship with the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. Recognizing the First peoples of this land is a step towards reconciliation and we are honoured to be here today to witness the unveiling of the plaque created with that recognition. Miigwetch."
The land acknowledgement plaque will now permanently serve as a reminder that Newmarket sits on the traditional territories of the Wendat, Haudeno-saunee and the Anishinaabe peoples and treaty land of the Williams Treaties First Nations and other Indigenous people. Together, the Town will continue to celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of Indigenous people.
This event was streamed live on Facebook with members of Council, staff and residents showing their support by watching remotely.
To view the ceremony, which included a smudging and drumming ceremony and remarks by Mayor John Taylor and Chief Donna Big Canoe from the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. Please view the archived video on the Town of Newmarket's Facebook page or the Mayor's speech for more information.