First Nations Territorial Acknowledgement
The following acknowledgement, adapted from a statement developed by the University of Toronto in consultation with First Nations House and its Elder Circle, among others, is stated at the opening of TST meetings and events:
- I (we) wish to acknowledge this land on which the Toronto School of Theology, its member colleges, and the University of Toronto operate. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to live and work on this land.
Implementing the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, in June 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada published 94 Calls to Action. Many of these called out the Christian churches to step forward, and a number in particular had specific relevance to the work of theological schools. In summary, theological schools are asked to educate students (and others) about the following:
- the history of the churches in colonization;
- the legacy of residential schools;
- religious conflict in Aboriginal families;
- the need to respect Indigenous spirituality;
- the responsibility of the churches to address spiritual violence;
- concepts that have justified colonialism and settler sovereignty over Indigenous peoples, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius; and
- the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In addition, the Calls to Action include more general recommendations for improving the full access of Indigenous persons to educational opportunities and positions of educational responsibility.
Read the Toronto School of Theology's full report here.
More information about the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada can be found here.