Mazon Canada operates on Indigenous land. Our office is located north of Lake Ontario between the Cobechenonk River and the Waasayishkodenayosh River, also known as the Humber and the Don Rivers. It is by the Carrying Place, a frequently travelled and critical land passage between waterways that connect the midwest to the Atlantic coast. It is on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Anishinaabeg, the Wendat, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit.
Use of, access to, and stewardship of the land on which our office stands has been renegotiated many times. One of the oldest treaties that defined relationships on this land is the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt, a treaty between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Anishinaabeg, and allied nations, to peaceably share and care for this land, its waters, and all of the biodiversity in the Great Lakes region. All those who come to live and work here are responsible for honouring this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship, and respect, and Mazon takes this responsibility seriously.
Since the arrival of European settlers, the relationships between Indigneous people, Europeans and the land itself have been renegotiated many times - and these negotiations unfairly disadvantaged Indigenous people. The event called the Toronto Purchase, often cited as evidence of 'ownership' by Europeans of the land on which Toronto stands, was a meeting that was not accurately documented and is remembered differently by different parties. It is remembered by the Mississaugas of the New Credit as a conversation about a potential agreement that was never finalized. In fact, the deed to the land was never signed, and documents from the decades after show that for many years the British admitted that it was an incomplete and undefined agreement. The Mississauga of the New Credit have continued to advocate and defend their stewardship and access of the land for over 200 years until today; Land terms have been continuously challenged and redefined, resulting in accepted renegotiations as recently as 2018.
Beyond our office, our work is conducted across the lands and territories of many First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, much of it unceded, or ceded under threat. As a food security organization, we take special care to seek out and prioritize Indigenous-led food projects in an effort to build connection between Jewish and Indigenous communities and to provide resources they can use to access traditional food systems that have been disrupted by colonialism. We honour the Indigenous people locally and across the land who continue to thrive in their land and culture.
Mazon Canada gratefully acknowledges these Indigenous nations for their guardianship of this land and their leadership in its care. We also gratefully acknowledge the land itself - the earth, the lake and the rivers, the plants and animals with which we share this land, food. We reaffirm our accountability to them all.
Mazon Canada recognizes that land loss was one of the most central harms of colonialism, one that has created the conditions under which other harm could thrive, and that justice cannot be done without the return of land to the Indigenous peoples from which it was stolen.
since the start of diaspora, judaism has always adapted to the culture around us. here, on this land, judaism has mainly assimilated to dominant white colonial culture. can you think of ways that our judaism has been shaped by indigenous people, or by the geography or ecosystem of the land? imagine a future where canada’s efforts towards reconciliation are successful, and our judaism became more influenced by indigenous cultures, too. can you imagine a jewish ritual, food, or tradition that might look different in this decolonized jewish future?