I am a settler of Ukrainian, Polish, Scottish and English descent who lives as a guest on Ancestral Neutral or Attawandaron lands, and on the treaty lands & territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit. I work on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron, Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples. Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo are located on the Haldimand tract, which includes 6 miles on either side of the Grand River, and which was promised to the Six Nations. Only approximately 5% of the territory promised to the Six Nations is in its control today as a result of the breaking of agreements.
My family have been uninvited settlers on lands across Turtle Island for more than 150 years. My ancestors have lived on lands spanning from the Miramichi River (Mi’kmaq territory) to Treaty 6 (Niitsitapi, Nakoda and Tusuut’ina) and Treaty 7 (Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Métis, and Nakota Sioux) territories in Alberta; the territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Métis peoples (Treaty one territory in Manitoba); to unceded Musqueam and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory in British Columbia, where I grew up. I recognize the violence that makes my presence in these lands, and those of my ancestors possible. I also recognise my responsibility to learn to live within the laws of these lands, to confront the violence in which I am complicit and to work to dismantle the structures that perpetuate it.