The Greenbelt Foundation acknowledges that the land we meet on and strive to protect is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, and is now home to many other diverse First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples.
The area we now call the Greenbelt consists of treaty lands. Such Treaties of Canada include the Niagara Purchase, Between the Lakes Purchase and Collins Purchase, Head of the Lake Treaty, Ajetance Treaty, Toronto Purchase, Gunshot Treaty, Treaty Number 20, Saugeen Treaty, Treaty Number 82, Saugeen Peninsula Treaty, and Lake Simcoe Nottawasaga Treaty. It is important that we learn about the history and continued presence of these treaties because we are all treaty people.
The lakes, rivers, and wetlands, as well as forests, ravines, and healthy farmlands in the Greenbelt have been stewarded and protected by the First Peoples since time immemorial. We are grateful to the First Peoples for their care of the land on Turtle Island, which many of us have come to call home. We respect and are inspired by the deep connection of kinship that Indigenous Peoples have with the land.
We acknowledge and condemn events such as Indian Residential Schools, Indian Day Schools, the Sixties Scoop, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and many other violent acts committed since European settlers arrived on this land. The vibrant way of life of Indigenous Peoples and their connection to the land has been suppressed due to attempted genocide, colonialization, and assimilation. We acknowledge the truth of these events, continuing effects, and the enduring rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We recognize that the Greenbelt is based on a land management plan developed by settlers, and we as a Foundation have a responsibility to ensure the work we do reflects the continued efforts and rights of the First Peoples of this land. As a Foundation, we will continue to support projects that prioritize reconciliation, such as projects that increase awareness of the presence of Indigenous Peoples and their territories; projects that build meaningful relations with Indigenous Peoples to conserve and restore nature in the region; projects that we collaborate with Indigenous Peoples and Communities to improve communications with municipalities in land-use planning.
We will continue to look for ways to align our mandate with the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As we continue to work towards our vision of a protected, prosperous Greenbelt for all, we will seek opportunities to listen to and learn from Indigenous leaders and elders. We will support Indigenous-led initiatives that advance education, understanding, and reconciliation.
We will further educate ourselves on Indigenous Knowledge Systems that can inform and support our mandate to sustain the air, lands and waterways in the Greenbelt.