Our World Tuesday
Yesterday I posted photos from our visit to Fort York. We were there to attend the Indigenous Arts Festival which is a celebration of traditional and contemporary music, dance, theatre, storytelling, visual arts, crafts, and food created by indigenous artists. Hosted by the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.
This was a little disappointing as there were very few crafts and food displays, only one food booth and a couple of craft booths.
However the Mississaugas musicians and dancers did a good job even though it was held in a cramped tent. Considering the beautiful weather and the wide open spaces available at the Fort it would have been visually more exciting held outdoors.
The Mississaugas are part of the Ojibwa Nation, in the Algonquian language family. They established themselves on the north shore of Lake Ontario between 1700 and 1720. During the American Revolution, the British Crown began purchasing large tracts of land for the incoming Loyalists. The first land purchase involving the British Crown and the Mississauga Nation was in 1781. By 1800, all that remained of the Mississauga’s territory was the “Mississauga Tract” which covered the land, from Etobicoke Creek to Burlington Bay.
In 1805, the British began negotiations for that last tract of Mississauga land. On August 2, 1805, the Mississauga and the British Crown signed Treaty 13-A, commonly referred to as the First Purchase. The British acquired a strip of land, from the Etobicoke Creek west, to Burlington Bay north six miles to modern day Eglinton Avenue. This became the Township of Toronto (now the City of Mississauga).
The Mississauga kept one mile on either side of the Credit River, the land on either side of the Twelve and Sixteen Mile Creeks, and the interior of the “Mississauga Tract” north of Eglinton Avenue. The fact that they retained the interior of the “Tract” enabled them to preserve their traditional means of subsistence.