Aboriginal

Aboriginal

Subtitle
The (Native) Aboriginal Community

Toronto owes its name and origin to the Huron, Iroquois, and Ojibwa nations who first used the area as a shortcut for trail and canoe routes between Lakes Ontario and Huron. The Humber River was then named Taronto, first by the Huron Indians who once populated the area, and later by the Seneca nation (an Iroquois tribe) who settled on the banks of the river in the area now occupied by Toronto.
This area remained a Seneca domain until the mid-17th century. In the early 18th century, the Ojibwa began moving into southern Ontario, and the Mississauga Indians (an Ojibwa tribe) gradually replaced the Iroquois along the north shore of Lake Ontario. Their most important village was located on what is now Baby Point. By 1805, all of the lands surrounding present-day Toronto were appropriated (The Toronto Purchase) from the Mississauga Indians. Native people remained in the area, but lived primarily on their own territories.
Today, Toronto is home to approximately 25,000–30,000 Native people, and a large number of Métis. The Ojibwa and members of the Iroquois Six Nations Confederacy make up the largest group in the community. One-third of the province’s Native reserves are located within 200 miles of Toronto, and the city’s Native community has grown significantly in the last three decades, as people leave the reserves for job opportunities in the city.
Toronto is the headquarters for the federal regional offices of the Department of Indian Affairs, and is home to a number of political, cultural, and service organizations representing reserve and non-reserve Natives. One of the many organizations is the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. The centre offers services to help bridge the transition from life on the reserves to the city, and provides facilities for cultural groups, and social gatherings.
Native culture is exhibited by groups who perform ceremonial dances and by theatre groups such as the Native Earth Performing Arts, which stages plays articulating the views and concerns of Native people. The first Native Canadian ballet was staged in 1989. Toronto is also one of the major distribution centres in Canada for First Nations and Inuit art, sculpture, and crafts.
 

History

Native people have contributed to the city in the fields of art, sports, education, and politics. Lacrosse, the national sport of Canada, was first played as a game-ritual between villages of Native people. A downtown Toronto street bears the name of Tom Longboat, a renowned long distance runner who won the 11th annual marathon race in Toronto in 1907 and was later elected into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Brant Avenue as well as Brantford, Ontario—the home of the Six Nations Indian territory—were named after the Mohawk leader Joseph Brant (Thayendonegea).

The Grand River reserve is now the home of the Six Nations Iroquois but was originally purchased for them from the Mississaugas when they came to Canada from their traditional territory in New York, following the American Revolution. Other notable Toronto Native individuals include Orenhyatekha, a medical doctor and prominent businessman in the 1890s, and O.M. Martin, a brigadier during the Second World War who was appointed a magistrate for the county of York. Symphony conductor John Kim Bell composed In the Land of the Spirits, the first Native ballet, and playwright and producer Tomson Highway is a Dora award winner. George Armstrong, former coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, is a past recipient of the Charlie Conacher Memorial Trophy for his humanitarian contributions.

Places to go
Algonquians Sweet Grass Gallery
Address
668 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M61 1E5, Ontario, Canada
Phone
416-703-1336
Web Site
http://indigenousbusiness.directory/directory/algonquins-sweet-grass-gallery-inc-the/

By Appointment Only

Gallery Philip
Address
12 Hazelton Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 2E2
Phone
(416) 447-1301
Web Site
www.gevik.com
Royal Ontario Museum
Address
100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C6
Phone
(416) 586-8000
Web Site
www.rom.on.ca
Holidays and Celebrations

Throughout the year, celebrations are held marking the seasonal changes in nature.

NEW YEAR’S MORNING
Day
1
Month
January

  NEW YEAR’S MORNING. On January 1, children of the Six Nations Reserve go from home to home to collect gifts of homemade pastries, candy, and other treats.

BREAD AND CHEESE DAY
Day
24
Month
May

  BREAD AND CHEESE DAY, is celebrated on Victoria Day, May 24. Residents of the Six Nations Reserve form a line outside the community centre, and band councillors distribute offerings of bread and cheese. There are also cultural displays, horse racing, and ball games.

THANKSGIVING DAY

  THANKSGIVING DAY celebrations are held in Autumn to give thanks for the beauty of nature and the rich harvest of food.

PIPE OF PEACE SMOKING CEREMONY

  PIPE OF PEACE SMOKING CEREMONY is the most important ceremony. These Pow Wows are held from time to time for the development of friendships and the promotion of culture, featuring foods, crafts displays, singing, dancing, and drumming.

HARVEST CEREMONIES

  HARVEST CEREMONIES for corn, strawberries, and other foods are regulated by the seasons, the moon, and the growth of plants.

CHRISTIAN HOLIDAYS AND EUROPEAN DAYS

  CHRISTIAN HOLIDAYS AND EUROPEAN DAYS, such as New Year’s Eve and Christmas, are often celebrated. Natives have incorporated their own traditions into these celebrations.

TREATY DAYS

  TREATY DAYS are observed (though not always celebrated).

POW WOWS

  POW WOWS are now annual events, and include: International Pow Wow, held at the Rogers Centre in Toronto; Pow Wow at Six Nations, usually held in July in Toronto; and in August in Mississauga. Most of the larger First Nations also hold events in their own communities. Pow Wows traditionally bring together people from various communities for social gathering and thanksgiving. People wear their finest outfits and participated in feasting, dancing, and singing.

Media
ABORIGINAL VOICES RADIO (NO LONGER EXISTS!!!)
Address
P.O. Box 87, Station E
Phone
416-703-1287
Web Site
www.aboriginalvoices.com

  ABORIGINAL VOICES RADIO, 106.5 FM. (Tel. 416-703-1287, www.aboriginalvoices.com, P.O. Box 87, Station E) Radio station which plays Native Canadian and Native American music.

Organizations
ASSOCIATION FOR NATIVE DEVELOPMENT IN THE PERFORMING
Address
601 Christie Street Toronto ON M6G 4C6
Phone
(416) 829-3229
Web Site
www.andpva.com

  ASSOCIATION FOR NATIVE DEVELOPMENT IN THE PERFORMING & VISUAL ARTS, (Tel. 416-972-0871, www.andpva.com, 60 Atlantic Ave., Suite 111), assists in the development of programs that encourage persons of Aboriginal ancestry to become involved in the performing and visual arts, including theatre, music, dance, literature, and film.

NATIVE CANADIAN CENTRE OF TORONTO
Address
16 Spadina Rd, Toronto, ON M5R 2S7
Phone
(416) 964-9087
Web Site
www.ncct.on.ca

  NATIVE CANADIAN CENTRE OF TORONTO, (Tel. 416-964-9087, www.ncct.on.ca, 16 Spadina Rd). One of the first organizations established to help Native people in the city. Services offered include individual counselling and referral, and the provision of social, recreational, and cultural programs. The centre publishes the monthly The Native Canadian and sponsors Native theatre, readings, art exhibits, and conferences. Executive Director: Larry Frost.

NATIVE EARTH PERFORMING ARTS INC
Address
585 Dundas St E #250, Toronto, ON M5A 2B7
Phone
(416) 531-1402
Web Site
www.nativeearth.ca

  NATIVE EARTH PERFORMING ARTS INC., (Tel. 416-531-6377, www.nativeearth.ca, 55 Mill St., #74, Suite 300 & 305), is a not-for-profit Native theatre company dedicated to the development of a theatre that articulates the concerns and viewpoint of this country’s Native people. The company performs at various theatres throughout the city. Managing Artistic Director: Yvette Nolan.

ONTARIO FEDERATION OF INDIAN FRIENDSHIP CENTRES
Address
219 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1E8
Phone
416-956-7575
Web Site
www.ofifc.org

  ONTARIO FEDERATION OF INDIAN FRIENDSHIP CENTRES, (Tel. 416-956-7575, Fax 416-956-7577, www.ofifc.org, 219 Front St. E), is an umbrella organization for Aboriginal centres. Executive Director: Sylvia Maracle.

NATIONAL ABORIGINAL ACHIEVEMENT FOUNDATION
Address
70 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1B9
Phone
(416) 926-0775

  NATIONAL ABORIGINAL ACHIEVEMENT FOUNDATION, (Tel. 416-926-0775, Fax 416-926-7554, www.naaf.ca, 215 Spadina Ave., Suite 450), is a nonprofit organization that arranges assistance, grants, and scholarships for Native youth to study in the arts and business. They also sponsor fundraising events, including Canada’s first Native ballet,In the Land of the Spirits, and hold an annual achievement event, televised on CBC TV. Chief Executive Officer: Roberta Jamieson.

INDIAN AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS CANADA
Address
655 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5G 2K4
Phone
(416) 973-6234
Web Site
aadnc-aandc.gc.ca

  INDIAN AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS CANADA, (Tel. 416-973-6234, Fax 416-954-6329, www.ainc-inac.gc.ca, Toronto office: 25 St. Clair Ave. E., 8th floor).

INDIAN COMMISSION OF ONTARIO (CANNOT FIND)

  INDIAN COMMISSION OF ONTARIO, A mediation body between the First Nations in Ontario and the federal and provincial governments.

MÉTIS NATION OF ONTARIO
Address
350 Rutherford Rd S, Brampton, ON L6W 3M2
Phone
(905) 450-4844
Web Site
metisnation.org

  MÉTIS NATION OF ONTARIO, (Tel. 416-977-9881, Fax 416-977-9911, www.metisnation.org, 103 Richmond St. E., Suit 404).

NATIVE WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTRE
Address
191 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M5A 3E5
Phone
(416) 963-9963
Web Site
www.nwrct.ca

  NATIVE WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTRE, (Tel. 416-963-9963, Fax 416-963-9573, www.nativewomenscentre.org, 191 Gerrard St. E), provides support services, including family court, life skills, and job training. Run by and for Native women. Executive Director: Linda Ense.

WIGWAMEN INC.
Address
75 Cooperage St, Toronto, ON M5A 1H7
Phone
(416) 583-5883
Web Site
www.wigwamen.com

  WIGWAMEN INC., (Tel. 416-481-4451, www.wigwamen.com, 25 Imperial St., Suite 310), is a non-profit housing corporation established in 1972 and managed by Native people. General Manager: Angus Palmer.

Prominent Torontonians
Allen (Ahmoo) Angeconeb, artist
Roberta Jamieson, Chief of Six Nations, Former Ontario Ombudsperson and first Native woman lawyer in Canada
Harry Laforme, judge, Ontario Indian Commission.
Sources
Larry Frost (Native Canadian Centre)
Ron Robert
Sylvia Thompson