Toys
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  • June 20, 2023 3 min read

    Learn About Land Acknowledgements

    Mastermind Toys believes in creating space for all to play.

    As part of our commitment to establish inclusive spaces, we’re introducing land acknowledgements in all our stores, coast-to-coast, specific to the land each location is situated on.

    What Are Land Acknowledgements & Why Do We Have Them?

    A land acknowledgement is an expression of gratitude and appreciation, and a way to create awareness and start a conversation about Indigenous presence and rights. Land acknowledgements also serve as one form of reconciliation between First Nations, Inuit, or Métis people and those who have settled on Turtle Island (the name of the lands now known as North America).

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released a report with 94 'calls to action' (or recommendations) to foster reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples today. Education plays a big part in reconciliation, as for many years, Indigenous cultures, histories, and ways of life have been pushed to the sidelines—or worse, erased because of residential schools.

    Canada’s residential school system was a cultural genocide initiated by European colonizers to eliminate Indigenous Peoples that spanned for more than a century (the last residential school was closed by the Canadian government as recently as 1996). The intergenerational impacts and trauma from residential schools on survivors, their families, and Indigenous communities are still deeply present today.

    To encourage learning about Indigenous presence, past and present, Mastermind Toys is displaying land acknowledgements to offer a moment of learning for kids and families who visit us in-store.

    Our Call to Action

    Our hope is that our land acknowledgements will be a steppingstone into an open dialogue about continuing reconciliation efforts with Indigenous Peoples within our stores and communities.

    Mastermind Toys will continue to support reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island by inspiring learning about the rich history of this land and supporting the development of Indigenous youth through play.

    Every year, we partner with Right To Play, a global organization that aims to protect and educate children and youth, empowering them to rise above adversity. In Canada, Right To Play works in partnership with 75 Indigenous communities to support the healthy development of youth through play-based learning. Read more about Right To Play here.
     
    We are proud to help even more Indigenous youth achieve their full potential through the power of play, thanks to the generous support of our customers and employees during our campaign with Right To Play. This year, Mastermind Toys is donating over $23,000 to the Promoting Life-Skills In Aboriginal Youth (PLAY) program, with over $53,000 raised since 2021!

    Visit your neighbourhood Mastermind Toys store to learn about your local land acknowledgement.

    Discover Indigenous Stories

    Within our Diversity & Inclusivity collection, we offer books that tell Indigenous Stories to help teach kids about the history, heritage, and culture of Indigenous Peoples. This collection is part of Books That Give Back, an initiative that donates a portion of proceeds to BGC Canada (formerly Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada) to support its equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives, which help kids feel seen, valued, empowered, and included for all aspects of who they are.

    Smile So Big

    A magical mirror helps a young girl understand the beauty of her true self in this picture book about self-confidence, independence, and identity.

    A heartfelt story about memory, imagination, and intergenerational connection, celebrating Indigenous culture and traditions.


    On the Trapline

    Meet Buffy Sainte-Marie

    Introduce young readers to Buffy Sainte-Marie; an activist, teacher, and music legend.

    In this beautifully illustrated book, a determined young Anishnaabe girl in search of adventure goes on a transformative journey into a forest on her traditional territory.

    Together We Drum, Our Hearts Beat as One

    Walking Together

    An innovative picture book that introduces readers to the concept of Etuaptmumk (or Two-Eyed Seeing) in the Mi'kmaq language as we follow a group of young children connecting to nature as their teacher.

    A collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran Native writers, bursting with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride.

    Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

    Completed in collaboration with Right To Play, who works in partnership with Indigenous communities across Canada.

    We're always learning—if you see an error on one of our land acknowledgements, please tell our Play Experts. We’re happy to look into all feedback and correct any incorrect signs.

    Written by Melania Fedyna, Senior Copywriter & Voice of Play

    Melania Fedyna
    Melania Fedyna


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