Four hundred years ago, present day Baby Point was occupied by the Seneca Iroquois longhouse village of Teiaiagon (“crosses the stream”). The spirits of our native ancestors, including their bodies and the remains of their longhouse lifestyle were “returned to the earth” here. This is the land on which Robert Home Smith developed a beautiful early twentieth-century Eurocentric enclave. Much of the native settlement is still held in the earth there undisturbed except for the house foundations. In the spring of 2007, the ancient burial of a native woman was uncovered. This recovery was a stark remembrance of the origins of this place. Among the items discovered with her remains was the bone comb pictured here. For me, this comb conveys to us here now the sublime spiritual nature of this woman’s gifts.
According to provincial statute, Six Nations of the Grand River were contacted, and a re-burial location negotiated with the City of Toronto Culture Division. As a Mohawk member of the Six Nations community living here in Toronto, I was called on as a man, by some of the Clan Mothers, to deliver the speech in the ceremony of re-interment.
In our ceremony, we apologized to the spirit of her bones for uncovering her peaceful remains held so long undisturbed amidst the many layers of subsequent occupation. We prayed not to disturb her bones again, and in return, we asked her not to hurt us in our unintentional carelessness today.