Land Inquiry

Settler colonialism is a distinct type of colonialism that functions through the replacement of indigenous populations with an invasive settler society that, over time, develops a distinctive identity and sovereignty (Settler Colonialism).

Little Friends - Child & Family Development Centre

This is my neighbourhood. I have lived here for 16 years. Before there was the daycare centre, there was a high school. It was torn down and the lot remained empty for a few years. Finally, the Little Friends Centre was built. Located at the corner of Essex Street and Russell Street in Sarnia, the centre is operated by Ska”na in partnership with the Sarnia-Lambton Native Friendship Centre (Ska:na Family Learning Centre). There are approximately 25 houses on this block. At the very end of the block there is an elementary school. The hospital is a 2 minute walk from this area as well.

The Little Friends daycare centre represents settler presences. " In settler colonial contexts the historical and ongoing dispossession and displacement of Indigenous peoples is foundational to understanding the production of urban space. What does it mean that cities in what is now known as Canada are Indigenous places and premised on the ongoing dispossession of Indigenous peoples?" (Settler Colonial Studies Blog). This site is the perfect area to represent settler presences. I am always wondering who decides where Indigenous centres can be located? Who gives them the rights and takes them away from the Indigenous people? Someone has taken the rights of the Indigenous people and decided that they could have this one area dedicated to them. Who has the right to take their rights and dictate where they can settle and where they cannot? Settler people have taken over the area and have decided that the Indigenous people are "allowed" to operate a daycare in this area. So much unfair treatment - settler presences at their best.
Ska:na Family Learning Centre (SFLC) is a Native, non-profit, registered charity providing quality childcare in the Windsor community since 2003. Ska:na FLC believes in supporting the whole family and follows the High/Scope philosophy in regards to child and family development.
Ska:na’s Childcare is rooted in the High/Scope Framework Philosophy and the Native culture and both are child-centric. SFLC is dedicated to providing a stimulating and experiential learning environment to enhance child development. The program staff are dedicated and trained to assist families in accessing resources needed for social, economic and cultural development as well as advocating on their behalf with interagency cooperation (Ska:na Family Learning Centre).

“Equally intriguing, Ballantyne argues that settler capital can and should be realigned and reconfigured to serve the resurgent goals of Indigenous communities. This is an important and probably contentious point in the world of anti-colonial activism, as many organizers and activists are vocally apprehensive about ‘buying into’ what’s termed the non-profit industrial complex or funding mentality. This article addresses this question in an important way by grounding this dilemma within a space of learning that is reliant on funding from social innovation funders, but that has also consistently received evaluations from students who speak of Dechinta as providing a transformative experience” (Wildcat, VI).

The “Souls Memorial” represents Indigenous presences. This monument represents the co-operation and respect between the Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Blue Water Bridge Authority. It is to honour the first peoples who lived here. This represents the past that the Indigenous peoples had here and the respect given to them.
My grandfather worked on and completed the construction of the first bridge and my father worked on and completed the second bridge. The Blue Water Bridges depict immigrant presences and histories. The crossing was an important travel route for Indigenous peoples. It represents the important trade that created the surrounding cities. While free trade increased levels of travel of people from far and wide, the idea of the second bridge was conceived. The addition of the second bridge created an easier passage for new people to come into the country and plant new roots.


Children and their families are invited to come and take a walk around the neighbourhood. We will be looking at all that nature provides for us. What could a squirrel represent? The animal is free to roam around as he pleases. He has no rules and no one to tell him what to do. What does the squirrel do during his day? How could he represent settler colonialism? Has he been kicked out of his home by settlers? What could a tree represent? The tree is old and has many markings left on it by nature and people. The children are free to walk around and examine natures beauty. There are many trees, grass, rocks, and leaves around for them. What does the river represent? Freedom to flow where ever the world may take you. Do what makes you feel great and never stop. Throughout the provocation, I will be documenting what children are saying while provoking children to engage with nature without asking questions that will have children "change" their mind about what they are thinking. This will ensure the provocation is an authentic learning experience. I will be able to reflect on the provocation afterwards.

We do not own this land. We have come and taken this land from the first peoples who were here long before us. This provocation helps children realize that things are where they are for a reason and we should not be disturbing them. Children will learn that the past is very present in their future. What has been done in the past will always affect the people of the future. Within the neighbourhood chosen, Indigenous histories were very present and creating a provocation within the surroundings was easy. Nature is beautiful and our history is as well. We must take care of our past and leave things the way they are in order to respect our ancestors and the First Nations peoples. Settler presences were also very present. The fact that settlers took the land and dictated where Indigenous peoples could open a centre reminds us that we took over the First Nations peoples land and told them what they could and could not do. We took advantage of them. Teaching children about First Nations peoples and Settlers through the eyes of the First Nations people will allow children to learn that the land was pure and innocent and the First Nations people were here first.

79. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal organizations, and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration. This would include, but not be limited to: i. Amending the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and its Secretariat

93. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with the national Aboriginal organizations, to revise the information kit for newcomers to Canada and its citizenship test to reflect a more inclusive history of the diverse Aboriginal peoples of Canada, including information about the Treaties and the history of residential schools. (Calls to Action, p.9-11)

  • Settler Colonialism. (2015, August 04). Retrieved February 02, 2017, from
  • Welcome to Little Friends Child and Family Development Centre! (n.d.). Retrieved February 04, 2017, from
  • Wildcat, M., Irlbacher-Fox, S., Coulthard, G., & McDonald, M. (2014). Indigenous Land-Based Education (Special Issue). Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 3(3).
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. (2015). Winnipeg, Manitoba: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
  • Indigenous urban presences? Reservations: Julie Tomiak, ‘Contesting the Settler City: Indigenous Self-Determination, New Urban Reserves, and the Neoliberalization of Colonialism’, Antipode, 2017. (2017, February 04). Retrieved February 09, 2017, from



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