U of T welcomes community to celebrate the launch of Ziibiing

U of T is marking the official opening of Ziibiing, the Indigenous landscape project at Hart House Green, with an opening celebration for the entire University community. Taking place May 14 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the event welcomes attendees to explore the new space and hear from representatives from the Council of Indigenous Initiatives Elders’ Circle, the Indigenous Landscape Advisory Committee, and the University.

Ziibiing grew out of the first call to action in Answering the Call: Wecheehetowin, the final report of the Steering Committee for the U of T Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It provides a dedicated place for Indigenous students, staff, faculty members, and librarians to gather, teach, and learn as well as to host ceremonies and celebrations.

“Ziibiing was shaped by the input of Indigenous people across U of T and beyond, and we can’t wait to share it with our communities,” said Shannon Simpson, Senior Director of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

“Together, we have created a highly visible Indigenous space on the St. George campus that fosters connection with the land, with traditional and cultural practices, and with each other. In doing so, we are ensuring that Indigenous students, staff, faculty, and librarians can see a place for themselves at U of T, and that non-Indigenous community members have opportunities to advance their learning.”

U of T Ziibiing opening rendering

 

Named using the Anishinaabemowin word for “river,” Ziibiing marks the path of Taddle Creek, a buried stream running under the St. George campus that served as a gathering place for Indigenous Peoples before colonization. Brook McIlroy’s Indigenous Design Studio developed the design in consultation with a broad range of Indigenous stakeholders, including U of T community members, Elders, and local First Nations.

The central structure of the landscape is a pavilion supported by 13 columns that symbolize the 13 moons of the year and encircle a central fire pit where ceremonial fires can be lit. The site also features an amphitheatre, gardens with plant medicines, and cultural markers that will share information and stories.

For more information about the opening celebration, please visit the People Strategy, Equity & Culture website. We kindly ask anyone attending to register to assist with planning.