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December 13th, 2017
Beaches Living Guide Spring/Summer 2017


TORONTO, TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF THE MISSISSAUGAS OF THE NEW CREDIT

INTERESTING FACTS...

  • The term "urban Aboriginal" refers primarily to First Nation, Inuit and Metis individuals living in urban areas such as Toronto.
  • Toronto's Aboriginal population is approximately 37,000 (2011 census)
  • The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (16 Spadina Road) – provides social, recreational, cultural and spiritual services for the Indigenous community and visitors alike

June is National Aboriginal History Month, established in 2009 by the House of Commons

In June 2015, the Toronto District School Board TDSB started acknowledging the traditional Aboriginal lands where meetings are held around the city. Te idea was put forward by the board's Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee. Many of us now hear these words at various Toronto events to remind us of the city's Aboriginal heritage. Te words vary. Sometimes you hear "Toronto, the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit." Other times, you'll hear a longer acknowledgement, "Toronto, the traditional territories that include the Wendat (wen-dat), Anishinabek (ah-nish-nah-bek) Nation, the Haudenosaunee (ho-den-oh-sho-nee) Confederacy, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations, and the Metis (may-tee) Nation.

As the City of Toronto grows and expands with newcomers settling into the city, Torontonians are more than ever to be reminded and connected to our city's Aboriginal heritage. Te name Toronto frst appears in the historical record as the "lac de Taranteau" on a map of southern Ontario produced in 1670 by Father Rene de Brehant de Galinee. At that time, the name referred to Lake Simcoe and not the area known as Toronto today.

Tere are variations of Toronto such as Taranteau found and recorded. In the 1720s, "Toronto" became associated with a post by the mouth of the Humber River, the starting place for the "Carrying Place," the canoe and portage route from Lake Ontario to the waters that flowed into the upper Great Lakes.

For generations, the Mississaugas (or the Ojibwa) lived on the north shore of Lake Huron. But by the 1700s, this First Nations tribe had been forced to move south to the lands around present day Toronto in search of hunting lands. Tey occupied the land from Ashbridges Bay to Etobicoke Creek, and fshed on the Humber and the Don Rivers, particularly where these rivers entered into Lake Ontario.

Tey also revered the Toronto Islands, naming them a place of healing.

When the town of York was settled, once again the Mississaugas had to fnd new places to hunt and fsh. Tey settled into a new area we know as the Six Nations territory near Brantford.

Te Mississaugas were experts at cultivating various wild plants for food and as medicine. Without modern drugs, they became skilled at knowing how to use plants as healing agents, many of which became used eventually as European medicines. For example,

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