This website provides information 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 Toronto. The site is a vast 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 the Humber River and High Park. The site hopes to inform people as to a more comprehensive history of the land known as “Toronto,” one that is inclusive of and engages Indigenous peoples history and discussion. Working to develop this knowledge can only help reconnect to the land and the realities we face as a so-called “post-colonial” society, and one that is failing to respect mother earth in this time of global environmental threat.
The Six Nations are the custodians of the burial mounds in High Park. When John Howard bequeathed the park to the city he also provided the condition that the Six Nations would continue their custodian role over their sacred sites. It is their duty to maintain the mounds and connection with the ancestors for future generations. This work is being done through the work of the Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society.
A site of recent activity has been High Park where there are 57 ancient Iroquoian burial mounds. Other sites include the ancient town site of Taiaiako’n (village at the crossing) located in current day Baby Point. 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 has been working most recently, to protect Snake Mound in High Park from people who have 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 that the mounds in High Park have been verified as mounds by 4 different licensed archaeologists.
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.
Check out this interesting video from Intercontinental Cry about defending sacred sites in the US: http://intercontinentalcry.org/on-defending-sacred-sites/
Archeological Master Plan of Toronto-High Park
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.