The CFL took a major step in including a prominent Indigenous land acknowledgement ahead of the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton last weekend, but it seems that not everyone was included in the address.
According to a CBC News story from Bobby Hristova, members of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation are voicing their displeasure after being left out of the Grey Cup acknowledgements.
“We work so hard to get our name out there so people understand our treaties and our territory and then all of a sudden, on one of Canada’s biggest stages, we’re ignored and that stings a little,” Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Gimaa (Chief) R. Stacey Laforme said in an interview.
Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council secretary Leroy Hill delivered a land acknowledgement when the Grey Cup arrived in Hamilton’s Bayfront Park on the Tuesday before the game and addressed the sold out Tim Hortons Field crowd prior to kickoff alongside young Indigenous football players.
The Mississaugas of the Credit were not a part of that acknowledgement and were not consulted by the Ticats prior to the event, despite the City of Hamilton sitting on land covered in the 1792 Between the Lakes Treaty between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit.
Laforme told the CBC that he reached out to the Ticats on Monday to address the issue and the team admitted a mistake was made, but plans for a joint public statement addressing the error were vetoed by “higher ups” within the CFL club.
“I appreciate they want to work with us, but my personal opinion is you made a mistake, you know it’s a mistake … in the interest of honour, integrity and reconciliation, you should admit it,” Laforme said.
“I really did feel there should be a little more.”
Neither the CFL or the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have commented publicly on the situation, but Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation communications lead Georgia Laforme later confirmed that the Ticats have formed a committee with the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas to ensure no Indigenous community is forgotten in future land acknowlegements.
The Grey Cup is slated to return to Hamilton for its 110th iteration in 2023.