The story of the land...
NOIDA, Chicago, Toronto...
The three cities where I have spent most of my life. I lived the first 19 years of my life in NOIDA, a suburb of Delhi, in India. The next 19 years were spent in the US living mostly in Chicago. And now, I call Toronto home.
Acknowledging the land where I live now is as important as acknowledging the land of my formative years. India is a country that has been ruled by the Mauryas, the Guptas, the Turks, the Mughals, and the British (and many others!). It is hard to say who were the first settlers but I do know my family has been on the same land for more generations than I can count. I am grateful to have grown up in India.
Acknowledging the land where I lived for the next 19 years of my life is also very important. This is where I developed independent thinking and gained perspective on life. I acknowledge that I was a settler on the unceded land of many Indigenous nations and a firm believer that, that land is Native land - one that I am grateful for having had the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop.
And now, here in Toronto. This is the land that helped me understand my story and connect it to my roots. This is the land that gave me the opportunity to explore, dream, and create. This is the land of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Haundenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Mississauga of New Credit. I am grateful to have the opportunity to play, dream, work, and sleep on this land.
I don't take my privilege on either of these lands for granted. Rather, I recognize the role they have played in shaping me, and for that, I am forever grateful.