By Marlene Epp, Professor of History and Peace and Conflict Studies
Marlene Epp is a professor of history and peace and conflict studies at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo. She lives, works, and plays on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Attawandaron, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples.
It is somewhat ironic that the Land Back Camp underway at Victoria Park is just a short walk from the Schneider Haus on Queen Street.
The Land Back Camp is where a group of local Indigenous activists began occupying a small area of the park on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21). They are claiming land that was a traditional meeting ground for Indigenous peoples, used for trade, ceremony, and relationship building. The land was taken away by white colonizers and settlers, but in 1784 the Haldimand Tract (10 kilometres on each side of the Grand River from end to end) was granted by the British to the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations), to support them in perpetuity.