National Day of Truth and Reconciliation 2023

In honour of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, we wanted to post and share our Land Acknowledgement with the community. We have a lot of work to do as a community, and as a country, in order to fulfill the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We are committed to change as an organization. We are all treaty people, and we all play an individual and collective role in reconciliation.  

Porchlight Counselling and Addiction Services Land Acknowledgement

We at Porchlight Counselling and Addiction Services acknowledge that our organization and its’ respective satellite offices are located on the traditional lands of the Anishinabewaki, Haudenosaunee, Attiwonderonk, Mississauga and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, on lands connected with the Haldimand Treaty of 1784.

The Haldimand Treaty dates back to October 25th, 1784, when Sir. Frederick Haldimand, the governor of Quebec at the time entered into an agreement with the Six Nations to return them 10km of land on each side of the Grand River flowing from Lake Erie. While the Haldimand Tract was meant to acknowledge the Six Nations support of the British during the American Revolution, the land has never been fully returned, and ongoing land title disputes between the Government of Canada and Six Nation’s Confederacy are still occurring. In fact, today the peoples of Six Nations only have ownership of under 5% of the original 950,000 acres of land that the treaty stated was to be returned.  

At Porchlight, we recognize and acknowledge that the Six Nations of the Grand River are the original caretakers of this land upon which we stand. As a counselling and addictions organization we understand that in order for us to support individuals in their healing journeys, we must hold ourselves accountable to the historical and present-day harms and injustices that our ancestors engaged in and that we are complicit in engaging in and maintaining towards Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit).

Accountability requires self-reflection and action on our part, as we too are treaty people and beneficiaries of this land. Together, we at Porchlight must decolonize Eurocentric counselling modalities, build meaningful and non-tokenistic relationships with Indigenous peoples, preserve land for future generations and support land back initiatives, all while educating ourselves about the role the Social Service Sector continues to have and has had in the cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples. It is with this knowledge that we must pursue our individual and collective roles in Truth and Reconciliation, not only committing to meaningful change, but taking active steps to center the voices of Indigenous peoples while also ensuring we do not perpetuate further harm and oppression.