A collection of perspectives by and about Indigenous Toronto, past, present, and future.
Beneath every major city in North America lies a deep and rich Indigenous history that has been colonized, paved over, and ignored. Few of its current inhabitants know that Toronto has seen 12,000 years of different peoples, including the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe, the Huron-Wendat, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit, and a vibrant culture and history that thrives to this day.
With original contributions by Indigenous elders, scholars, journalists, artists, activists, and historians about art, food, health, and more, this unique anthology explores the poles of erasure and cultural continuity that have come to define a crossroads city-region that was known as a meeting place long before the arrival of European settlers.
Contributors include political scientist Hayden King, historian Alan Corbiere, musician Elaine Bomberry, artist Duke Redbird, playwright Drew Hayden Taylor, educator Kerry Potts, writer/journalist Paul Seesequasis and former Mississaugas of the New Credit chief Carolyn King.
About the authors
Denise Bolduc is an accomplished creative director, producer, programmer, speaker and arts consultant recognized for her involvement across disciplines with local, national, and international multi-disciplinary activities. She has held a number of leadership roles such as Arts Program Officer for both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, Artistic Director with the Harbourfront Centre and Artistic Director/Co Founder with the Aboriginal Music Project. She is a faculty instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and a consultant/mentor to numerous artists, arts leaders and organizations. Denise has also served on numerous committees and boards including Native Earth Performing Arts, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the National Indigenous Arts Adminstrators/Leaders and Aboriginal Voices Radio. She is Anishnaabe from the Lake Superior territory, and a member of the Batchewana First Nation. She currently lives in Toronto.
Mnawaate Gordon-Corbiere, Grouse clan, from M'Chigeeng First Nation, has a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in History and English from the University of Toronto. Mnawaate currently works at Heritage Toronto as their Indigenous Content Coordinator, previous to this she was a Research Assistant for the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Culture (GRASAC). She currently lives in Toronto.
Media and story creator Rebeka Tabobondung is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of MUSKRATMagazine.com a leading on-line Indigenous arts and culture magazine in Canada. Rebeka is also a filmmaker, writer, poet, and Indigenous knowledge researcher. In 2015, Rebeka co-founded the Gchi Dewin Indigenous Storytellers Festival in Wasauksing First Nation, along the beautiful shores of Lake Huron where she is also an elected Councillor and community member. She currently lives in Toronto.
Widely recognized as “the authority” on Native music, Brian Wright-McLeod (Dakota/Anishnabe) is a music journalist and educator. His journey in radio that began in 1983, resulted in the publication of his first book The Encyclopedia of Native Music [University of Arizona 2005], It was the basis for the Smithsonian Institute’s Native music exhibit Up Where We Belong (2010-2015) that launched the documentary film Rumble [Rezolution Pictures 2017] which won three 2018 Canadian Screen Awards. Original art from his graphic novel series Red Power [Fitzhenry/Whiteside 2011], which he wrote and illustrated, was included in Direct Action Comics: Politically Engaged Comics and Graphic Novels, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The exhibit also included works by Joe Shuster (Superman) and Art Spiegelman (Maus). Currently, he teaches Indigenous Music in Culture at Centennial College, and Indigenous Studies at George Brown College in Toronto. Brian currently lives in Toronto.
John Lorinc is a journalist and editor. He reports on urban affairs, politics, business, technology, and local history for a range of media, including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Walrus, Maclean’s, and Spacing, where he is senior editor. John is the author of three books, including The New City (Penguin, 2006) and Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology, and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias (Coach House Books, 2022), and has coedited four other anthologies for Coach House Books: The Ward (2015), Subdivided (2016), Any Other Way (2017), and The Ward Uncovered (2018). John is the recipient of the 2019/2020 Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy. He lives in Toronto.
Karon Liu has been a staff food reporter for the Toronto Star since 2015 and aims to link food with culture, history, identity, politics – anything you can imagine. He's also an avid home cook, and his favourite utensil is a pair of wooden chopsticks his grandma used to use.
Other titles by Denise Bolduc
Other titles by Rebeka Tabobondung
Other titles by Mnawaate Gordon-Corbiere
Other titles by Brian Wright-McLeod
Other titles by John Lorinc
What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings
Smart Cities and the Pursuit of Utopian Urbanism
How the Missing Middle Will Solve Toronto's Affordability Crisis
The Ward Uncovered
The Archaeology of Everyday Life
Any Other Way
How Toronto Got Queer
City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity
The Life and Loss of Toronto's First Immigrant Neighbourhood
How The Crisis Of Canada's Cities Is Reshaping Our Nation
A Groundwork Guide