It is now a deeply held Canadian custom to acknowledge the lands we live work and play upon in an effort to heal relations with our indigenous people and nations. These acknowledgement rituals have been extended to also acknowledge those who arrived in this country by force.
HIGHWIRE is a Canadian-based collective with it’s lead office based on the traditional territory of tkaranto (Toronto), Treaty 13, a site of work, life and play since time immemorial, with acknowledgement to the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, the Petun, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, whose presence past, present, and future include being caretakers of the land.
The HIGHWIRE collective members and community is located around the world, with a variety of intersecting identities and who are settlers on other indigenous lands. Each collective member shares the indigenous lands they work/live on where it applies.
Highwire also acknowledges the many people of African descent in North America and elsewhere, who are not settlers, but whose ancestors were forcibly displaced as part of the transatlantic slave trade, brought against their will, and made to work on these lands.
No matter where we live, nor whether we immigrated to our current land by choice, by force, by displacement, or whether we were born here in subsequent generations, we recognize that by being on any land as settlers and immigrants, we are bound to the agreements made and treaties of the land. In short, “We are all Treaty People.”
We also recognize that treaties across Turtle Island (North America) and other regions have been broken and ignored by the prevailing governments, businesses and institutions as a vehicle for land theft, systematic colonial violence and genocide.
Our call to action includes working to hold our respective governments, institutions and businesses accountable, healing relationships, unlearning our colonial histories.
Our call to action also demands radical care of ourselves, our communities and the creation of more equitable and inclusive society by closing the gaps in social, health, specifically mental health and entrepreneurial outcomes that exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal societies and cultures.
As a feminist organization, HighWire acknowledges that the gender binary is a colonial construct and that across the world, countless cultures recognize, revere, integrate and celebrate multiple gender identities. Turtle Island Indigenous communities have always acknowledged these identities; they are not a manifestation of current human rights work. We are a pro-reproductive rights and trans rights aware, inclusive organization.
We acknowledge that we work, parent and care for others on the traditional territory of several Indigenous Nations with special recognition to the Missisaugas of the Credit. As Treaty 13 people, we commit to listen, engage, learn and work to right the wrongs of the past and present. We also acknowledge interred Japanese and many peoples of African descent who are not settlers, but whose ancestors were forcibly displaced as part of the transatlantic slave trade and war, brought against their will, and made to work on these lands.