The Gallery Players of Niagara is committed to working toward a more just and equitable society.
We acknowledge that systemic racism is an intentionally designed system of laws and power structures that oppresses Black, Indigenous and people of colour and further entrenches advantages for white people.
As a small organization of white-only members, we recognize our privilege, and accept our lack of personal perspective regarding the painful experiences Black, Indigenous and people of colour - our fellow citizens - face every day.
In the midst of a pandemic, an economic crisis, and growing social movements to identify and dismantle society’s racist present and past, we can seize a powerful opportunity for change. All of these forces deeply impact our industry and our organization. The path forward is fluid and evolving almost daily.
To quote Author Arundhati Roy from ‘The Pandemic is a Portal’ (April 3, 2020) where she writes:
Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging...dead ideas....or we can walk through lightly...ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.
Gallery Players chooses to imagine another world, and use this moment as an opportunity for reflection and a time to strengthen our commitment to equity and social justice.
The Gallery Players of Niagara acknowledges that the land we work and perform on is the traditional territory of Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Wendat peoples and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum agreement.
Acknowledging this is a beginning and not an ending, in terms of our collective work towards truth and reconciliation.
We recognize the historic oppression of the original peoples, and cultures, and land, in what we now call Canada, and that inequality and racism are a part of Canada today.
It is our hope that such acknowledgements will be a spring board towards deeper more meaningful relationships with Indigenous people, and believe that finding a personal connection is essential to reconciliation.
We welcome your feedback: please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.
To find out more about traditional territories and land acknowledgments, please visit these sources which helped inform the creation of the Gallery Players of Niagara’s land acknowledgment.
Whose Land is a web-based app that uses GIS technology to assist users in identifying Indigenous Nations, territories, and Indigenous communities across Canada.
Native Land is a Canadian not-for-profit which operates as a resource for North Americans (and others) to find out more about local Indigenous territories and languages.
Canada’s public arts funder, The Canada Council for the Arts, has a dedicated page which helped inform the creation of this statement by Gallery Players.
An article from Do Justice about The Dish with One Spoon, the covenant which held together the Indigenous peoples of the Great Lakes before settlers appeared.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers offers a guide on territory acknowledgments and how to use them.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report.
The 94 Calls to Action outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.