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The Founding College of the University of Toronto
Colourful painting of a tree, surrounded by fields of blue, orange, and purple

Acknowledgement of Traditional Land

We wish to acknowledge this land on which University College operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

The Land Acknowledgement  is a formal statement recognizing the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional  territories. For more information about Land Acknowledgements, visit the Indigenous U of T Land Acknowledgement page.  

Artist's Narrative

The name says it all with this piece and was created for new friends of mine, the Sankars! I wanted to create a piece that celebrates the connectivity of life around us and in outer space. 7 of the trees in the background remind us of the 7 grandfather teachings, respect, honesty, bravery, humility, love, wisdom, and truth. The other 4 represent the 4 directions. 11 has always been a lucky number of mine and I love that it's significant in my culture too. The red soil represents the life blood of our planet, which is giving the Tree of Life in the middle a firm foundation to grow up from. The leaves on the tree represent us, we're not here for long, and we need to remember that life is cyclical and it has seasons of growth, death, and rebirth. I heard it put this way, "we're just one branch on the tree of life that's evolved for so long that we've started to ask where we came from.." And that the other branches represent other forms of life, the tree isn't just for us. Lastly, the sun and moon make life possible here for us. Their spirit lines radiate around us and through us. (fun fact I learned the other day, we're in the atmosphere of the sun!) All this to say that life here is positively interconnected, and I hope that this piece reminds people of that.

Patrick Hunter is a 2Spirit Ojibway Woodland artist from the community of Red Lake, in North Western Ontario. Patrick paints what he sees through a spiritual lens which is inspired by his homeland and growing up seeing the original works of Woodland painter Norval Morrisseau in various buildings around his home town.