summer 2018 postcard campaign

Tom Thomson Autumn Foliage - fall or winter 1915 - AGO 852.jpg

For some, getting away to the cottage is a Canadian tradition. Disproportionately, this is true for white Canadians. But how did Canada end up with massive tracts of land reserved for recreational use? How much do you know about the people who lived in the place where you and your family vacation?


Send us a postcard!

Love being outside? We do too!! This summer, whether you’re camping, canoeing or cottaging, we are asking you to do some learning and sharing about the Indigenous history and current relationships to the land where you will be staying.

We want to start conversations about access, land, and colonization and we need your help! So, to begin this conversation, we’re asking you to send us a postcard (downloadable below - Right click, Save As...) and answer these three questions about the history of the land you will be staying on:

  • Do you know the history of this land?

  • Where have you tried to find this information?

  • What is one way that you can commit to deepening your relationship with this land?

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Send your postcard to:
SURJ Toronto
38 Beaty Avenue
Toronto, ON
M6K 3B4


Not into snail mail!? Not a problem! Get back to us on Social Media:

  • Email and answer those same questions!

  • Tweet @SURJTO and use the hashtag #whoselandisitanyway?

  • Tag @SURJTO in a Facebook status and use #whoselandisitanyway?

We’re asking folks to take some intentional time for the remainder of the summer to think and learn about the land that you are on. To help you do that, we’ve assembled some links and made them available on SURJ-TO’s website. Read some of these articles, listen to some of these podcasts, and talk to your friends and family!

While SURJ is trying to bring this to life in a new way, we need to recognize the many Indigenous people in our work and personal lives that have and continue to do this work.


FURTHER Resources:

Whose Land is a web-based app that uses GIS technology to assist users in identifying Indigenous Nations, territories, and Indigenous communities across Canada. 

Decolonizing Cottage Country is a good article on the role of cottage country in Indigenous dispossession and cites some really good sources.

One explanation of the Dish With One Spoon Treaty with relevant primary documents.

Did you know Toronto City Council passed a protocol to acknowledge the Indigenous peoples whose territories we live on?

The Indigenous History of Tkaronto is a webpage prepared by the University of Toronto with links and information on the Indigenous History of Toronto.

Learn more about the treaties, treaty relationships and treaty rights that shape Ontario. This Ontario Government website explains what treaties are and provides maps and information on the treaties in Ontario. Contains resources, videos, and links