In 2017, prompted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, University of Waterloo President Hamdullahpur announced the creation of an Indigenization strategy for the University. In the few years before, land acknowledgements had started to become a common practice across the University at public gatherings, on websites, and in email signatures.
On November 2, 2020, the University participated in Treaty Recognition Week for the first time by hosting a series of virtual events that covered, among other things, historical perspectives on treaty rights in Canada, and treaty rights from the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples including the Six Nations and the Mississauga of the Credit.
These initiatives—the still-to-be-developed Indigenization strategy, land acknowledgements, and virtual education events—are not enough if the University does not follow through with concrete action.
The need for action and support for Indigenous Peoples is increasingly clear. Right now, land protectors on the territory of the Haudenosaunee of the Six Nations of the Grand River and across Canada, are under attack not only in the courts but also by local governments, settler residents, and the RCMP as they assert their treaty rights. The FAUW Indigenization Working Group recently marked the 236th anniversary of the Haldimand Proclamation with a blog post sharing the history of the Haldimand Tract as well as information about ongoing struggles for treaty recognition now taking place in Caledonia, ON, in Waterloo Park in Waterloo, ON, and in Mi’kMaq territory in Nova Scotia. The FAUW Board recently voted to support the land defenders asserting their treaty rights at 1492 Land Back Lane in Caledonia. The Librarians and Archivists Association of the University of Waterloo has also written a letter in support, and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, of which FAUW is a member, has made a donation to the legal fund.
FAUW’s Equity Committee and Indigenization Working Group invite all University of Waterloo faculty to join in a fundraise-and-tweet effort to support the protectors of the Six Nations lands upon which the University is situated. We urge faculty to make contributions to both the O:se Kenhionhata:tie Land Back Camp now occupying Waterloo Park and to the 1492 Land Back Lane – Legal Fund. You may also choose to contribute to a supplies drive for 1492 Land Back Lane. We further urge faculty to ask the University to donate as well—if you’re comfortable doing so, you could even tweet the amount of your donation and a call for the University to match it.
The FAUW Board has pledged the first $1,492.
How to participate
First, make a donation at one or both of the following links. When you have made your donation, please tweet @UWaterloo using the hashtag #UW4LandBack, urging the University to actively support the peoples of the Six Nations and all Indigenous Peoples living and working in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.
- Donate to 1492 Land Back Lane (you can also send an e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Donate to O:se Kenhionhata:tie Land Back Camp (or check out their online auction)
To participate in the supplies drive for land protectors at 1492 Land Back Lane, please choose what to donate from this list on Facebook (also reproduced below). The Equity Committee is hosting a collection site for supplies and will organize their delivery. To bring your donation to the collection site or to arrange for pick-up, please email Frankie Condon at email@example.com or Kim Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1492 Land Back Lane: supplies needed as of November 26
Please note that this list will get out of date; the Facebook page for 1492 Land Back Lane is the best place to look for an up-to-date list.
- Solar panels
- Battery operated lights
- Small propane tanks
- Blue shop towels
- Hydraulic fluid
- Eavestroughs and downspouts
- 3/4 inch plywood
- 8 3×4 heat resistant panels
- 60 sandbags
- Propane lanterns
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Rain barrels
- Stovetop kettles
- Fire extinguishers
- Instant decaf espresso
- Pancake mix
- Maple syrup
- Orange juice
- Red Bull