We all eat out of the Dish – all of us unique peoples – but it only has one spoon.

Land Acknowledgement

“Toronto is in the ‘Dish With One Spoon Territory’. The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.”

“Toronto is in the ‘Dish With One Spoon Territory’. The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.”

To hereby be The “Dish” or sometimes it is called the “Bowl” represents what is now southern Ontario (from the Great Lake to Quebec and from Lake Simcoe into the U.S.). We all eat out of the Dish – all of us unique peoples – but it only has one spoon. That means we have to share and that we have responsibilities to make sure the dish is never empty (to take care of the land and the creatures we share it with). Importantly, there are no knives at the table. We must keep the peace. The dish is graphically represented by the wampum represented below:

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This was a treaty made between the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee after the French and Indian War. Newcomers were then incorporated into it over the years, notably at 1764 (The Royal Proclamation/The Treaty of Niagara).

The purpose of the acknowledgement started in B.C., where there are no treaties at all. So people were actually living, working, meeting on stolen land. Its popularity has spread as an acknowledgment of presence and assertion of Indigenous sovereignty. 

Land Acknowledgement at Ryerson University: