There are numerous theories of how North America, and Wilmot Township, came to be created and the sequence of peoples who came to inhabit various parts of it over eons.

Some Indigenous peoples refer to North America as Turtle Island and that it was formed on the back of a giant turtle. Thus, the turtle is a symbol of creation, life and truth for many Indigenous peoples.

[Anishinaabe artist, Chief Lady Bird’s design]

Since the first humans arrived in southwestern Ontario and Wilmot Township there have been many different peoples, or tribal groups, who have subsequently taken over the land, or replaced their predecessors. In some cases, people were ‘passing through’ searching for territory on which to hunt, cultivate, trade. Others ‘settled’ here for a time and then were pushed out, replaced by others. Wilmot Township is ‘steeped’ in the richness of Indigenous history and traditional cultural practices.

Over the period of multiple centuries of history, atrocities were committed by one group of people on another.

In Wilmot today there are attempts to become aware of the influences of a long period of historic events on this township, to recognize all those who were here before, and to reconcile how all citizens move forward together.

By acknowledging, examining and reflecting on the past we may become more informed and more aware of each other’s reality. Only then can we communicate among all citizens, and plan mutually beneficial strategies for moving forward. Together, we are better!

3 Excerpts from TRCC Report (1)

  • “For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as ‘cultural genocide’” (TRCC Report pg.1)
  • “Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next. In its dealing with Aboriginal people, Canada did all these things.” (TRCC Report pg.1)
  • “Despite the coercive measures that the government adopted, it failed to achieve its policy goals. Although Aboriginal peoples and cultures have been badly damaged, they continue to exist. Aboriginal people have refused to surrender their identity.” (TRCC Report pg. 23)

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