Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society is an Indigenous led group that has worked to protect sacred sites in High Park where there are 57 ancient Iroquoian burial mounds, as well as the ancient Mohawk-Seneca town site of Taiaiako’n (village at the crossing) located in current day Baby Point, and the Thunderbird Mound just below, in Magwood Park. In 1999, crews replacing a gas pipe line found the bones of a 600 year old Seneca Woman, under the lawn of a house, 3 metres from the front door. This and other evidence proves that the village of Taiaiako’n had a much longer occupation by Seneca people, than just 40 years during the 1600′s. Thunderbird Mound and the Mounds in High Park, while are in evidence in the historical record, are not officially recognized at this time, and therefore are under continued threat by development and recreational activities. Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society worked to protect Snake Mound in High Park from people who had been using the area as a bmx jump course and in doing so have destroyed the natural environment, and desecrated the burial mound. An important matter of proof of independent study is that the mounds in High Park have been verified by 4 different licensed archaeologists.
THPS has been working with The Six Nations who have a long – held a custodial role to maintain the mounds and connection with the Ancestors for future generations. Independent of that, Kahntineta Horn, a Mohawk Bear Clan elder of MNN has stated the mounds in High Park are Iroquoian Mounds as well as other people from the Six Nations Confederacy who still continue to go to the park and burn their tobacco for the ancestors there and have for years quietly.
Our Elders are: Donna Powless, director of THPS, who is Snipe Clan of the Cayuga of Six Nations, and Catherine Coming Day Tammaro, Spotted Turtle Clan; Wendat Confederacy artist/musician. Also in THPS is Joce Two-Crows Tremblay an oshkimaadziig/Great Lakes métis, Beaver Clan; an Onon:wat/Nizh-Manidoo/2S community earthworker, artist and land-based cultural knowledge~fire~seed Keeper and Kim Jackson, settler Accomplice of Scottish ancestry with historical roots on, and responsibilities to decolonize, these lands – also an artist and community worker.
THPS works in close Solidarity with Joce Two-Crows Tremblay’s Re~Sistering project on the Niwa’ah onega’haih’ih (colonial name: Humber River), and is a core member of the Indigenous Land Stewardship Circle, which has formed to generate Indigenous cultural Land practices in High Park. THPS is also an intervening member of the High Park Resource Group (HPRG) as the only Indigenous group in a settler organization that works under the auspices of Toronto Parks.
This website is currently being updated. It hopes to expand the information it holds and makes available to the public on the activities of the Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society and their work to protect sites of significance to Indigenous peoples in Tkoronto. The site also has a collection of documentation of archeological significance, media debate, events listings, and updates on the progress being done to restore and protect the mounds located around High Park and the Niwa’ah onega’haih’ih (colonial name Humber) River. The site hopes to educate people as to a more comprehensive history of the Lands of Tkoronto, one that engages Indigenous peoples history, culture, ceremony and discussion. Working to develop this knowledge can only help reconnect to the Land and the realities of settler colonialism, one that is failing to respect mother earth in this time of global environmental threat.
The Taiaiaiko’n Historical Preservation Society was started by Rastia’ta’non:ha (also known as David Redwolf) under advisement of the clan mothers of Six Nations. He passed into the spirit world in January of 2012 and will be much missed. Those of us who had the honour of working with him are carrying on, although his strength of heart for the mounds is irreplaceable.