tkaronto

This is why more people are now referring to Toronto as Tkaronto

If you're confused as to why you're now seeing Tkaronto in place of Toronto you're not alone. 

You may have seen it on a "Tkaronto vs. Akwe:kon" shirt, or as a hashtag on Twitter or Instagram or even draped over the famous Toronto sign at Nathan Philips Square. 

Last month, Afr0-Indigenous Rising (AIR) draped a giant tarp with the word "Tkaronto" over the sign during a rally and teach-in to take steps toward abolishing Toronto Police.

So why are people saying Tkaronto?

Using Tkaronto in place of Toronto is merely one small step toward abolishing the systemic oppression of Indigenous people. 

For the uninitiated, Tkaronto is a Mohawk word meaning “where there are trees standing in the water,” according to several Mohawk speakers and aboriginal language expert John Steckley

The marker was originally ascribed to The Narrows, between Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching, but later became associated with Toronto because it was there that the passage between Lakes Ontario and Simcoe existed.

Tkaronto is considered the original name of Toronto and people have been using it instead of Toronto to honour the city's Indigenous history and to help decolonize the name. 

More people are switching the name because of the "Indigenous awakening" happening across the city and beyond.

The main objective of using Tkaronto is to reclaim and rename as a pushback against the settler-colonial system in Canada.

Using Tkaronto instead of Toronto helps spread awareness of the Indigenous people and their struggle, and encourages partnerships between Indigenous people and other communities.

However, as Susan Blight, an Anishinaabe artist, filmmaker, arts educator, and activist from Couchiching First Nation at a University of Toronto lecture, explained

“The goal is not for everyone to merely swap spots on a settler-colonial triad. The goal is to break the relentless structuring of the triad.”

Lead photo by

airisingcollective


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