Land Acknowledgment: Fife House Commitment to Solidarity and Action

The following Commitment to Indigenous Solidarity and Action was first put together by the Truth & Reconciliation Committee at Fife House in 2021, and revised by the committee in 2023 in consultation with Elders, partners and members of the Indigenous community in Toronto. Fife House gratefully acknowledges and thanks all the various staff members, residents and clients, partners and community members that kindly provided their input, feedback and guidance. The statement is a living document, and expresses Fife House’s intent to engage in continuous reflection, learning, and work in solidary with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples and communities.

Fife House acknowledges this land on which we work and live.

For thousands of years, T’karonto, now commonly known by its settler name, Toronto, has been the traditional land of many Indigenous Nations, including the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, the Chippewa, the Anishnaabeg, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This land is governed by the Dish with One Spoon Covenant between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Confederacy of Ojibway and Allied Nations. This covenant is an agreement to share, work and protect this land together in harmony.

More recently, T’karonto became part of Treaty 13, as well as the Williams Treaties, between several Indigenous Nations and the Crown. These Treaties acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples who have been here since time immemorial, and commit all who come after to shared stewardship of these lands.  As a result, we are all Treaty People. We must acknowledge, however, that these Treaties and other agreements with Indigenous Nations have been repeatedly disregarded by colonial governments and courts.

Today, T’karonto is still the home to many Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island.

It is also home to many Peoples from all across the globe – those born here, those whose ancestors who were brought to these shores by force, and those who arrived more recently. We are all grateful to have the opportunity to work and live on this land, and we stand in solidarity with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples against all forms of oppression.

As an AIDS/HIV service organization, Fife House acknowledges the disproportionate effects of HIV and AIDS within Indigenous communities, particularly in urban centres such as T’karonto. Fife House also recognizes the effects of historical and ongoing injustices and racism against First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, such as Residential Schools, the 60’s Scoop, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Transgender and 2-Spirit Persons, and the disproportionate number of Indigenous Individuals within the legal and child welfare systems, to name but a few. 

Fife House recognizes that we must challenge systems that continue to subjugate and cause destruction upon the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. We also pledge to work with the Peoples of all Four Directions in a manner that honours the principles of the Two-Row Wampum, and the values described within the Seven Grandparent/Grandfather Teachings.

Fife House commits to the necessary work of putting Truth and Reconciliation into Action.

Set of 3 photos: one panel features First Nation tobaccoties, middle panel shows an Inuit quulik or oil lamp, and the third panel shows a Metis sash.