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NAISA 2023 Conference May 11-13, 2023 Toronto, Canada

Welcome to Tkaronto

A Welcome into Good Relation with Lands, Water, and Each Other in Tkaronto

Toronto skyline image

We invite people to the NAISA 2023 meeting in Tkaronto, a place that is both lands and waters. We invite you into a good way of being and thinking in relation with lands, more than human and human kinship, while visiting us here. We hope that our gathering is both about the future, and about remembrance.

You might pause just before arriving to reflect on the longstanding Haudenosaunee practice of the ceremony at the edge of the woods, in which guests’ intentions are made clear. You might travel from the edge of the lake uphill on the path called Ishpaadina—a word used by Anishinaabe people to refer to its position as the high place—and feel yourself become a part of the larger choreography of remembering what the street called Spadina means to Indigenous peoples.

We invite you to consider the following prompts as potential pathways toward activating consensual relationality throughout the NAISA 2023 Meeting. Some of the forms of relation that we aspire to are inspired by the Native Youth Sexual Health Network and the ReMatriate Collective. We also seek to be in good relation with the overlapping and complex Black and Indigenous relationships to land/territory in Tkaronto.

How do we practice consent?

We invite you to consider how you can help to maintain an ethical practice of consent, with other attendees, with collaborators not participating in the conference, and also with lands and waters. We acknowledge the centrality of consent in kinship building. We highlight the importance and implications of two-spirit, Queer, and trans knowledge systems, leadership, and kinship structures.

How do we gather in a good way?

What does it mean to gather for us as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on Mississaugas of the Credit treaty lands and territory; Wendat Indigenous lands; Haudenosaunee treaty lands and territory? We invite you to consider how lands and waters, how they experience our gathering in the city of Tkaronto.

How do we show care?

Check-ins can be meaningful if offered with care and protection in mind. We acknowledge Indigenous and Black ethics of care to include visiting, witnessing, and other forms of relational care. Tkaronto NAISA hosts hope to care for the gathering well with rest areas, food, and other practices of support.