CBC Radio One Appearance

Suzanne  -  Jan 23, 2017  -  , , , , , , ,  - 

On National Aboriginal Day 2016, Suzanne Methot was a featured commentator on CBC Radio One’s Metro Morning. This five-minute documentary piece on the Indigenous history of Toronto began when CBC freelance contributor Aparita Bhandari came across my 2012 blog post “Toronto Is An Iroquois Word.”

Dragonfly wrote the original post in response to the oft-heard description of Toronto as “Mississauga territory.” Although technically not untrue — the Mississauga did sign the Toronto Purchase with the colonial government in 1784 — the story of Toronto begins long before European colonization. By prioritizing the Mississauga agreement, we ignore Huron–Wendat and Haudenosaunee ties to the land we now call “Toronto” — and we superimpose a Eurocentric frame of reference on what is included, not included, and valued in the discussion. Time to decolonize, people!

Unfortunately, Metro Morning host Matt Galloway introduced the piece with a note that “Toronto was once part of the vast Ojibwe nation.” Which is, we suppose, the reason why the original blog post continues to attract so much attention, four years after Dragonfly first wrote it: people hear the government-sanctioned line about “Mississauga territory,” but they know about the nearby Six Nations of the Grand River reserve (Haudenosaunee territory), and they also see numerous archeological sites in the Toronto area (all Haudenosaunee). And they know that something just doesn’t add up.

If you want to know the real history of Toronto — history from an Indigenous perspective — check out the original post here.

And check out the CBC documentary here.

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