When you visit Mississauga, you’ll experience a place where history and modern amenities collide. As you explore, you’ll discover how Indigenous history influenced the present-day city, from the settlements to its name, which stems from the Anishinaabe peoples who came to be known as the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
The lands which constitute the present-day City of Mississauga were inhabited since time immemorial by the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron-Wendat, the Wyandot Nations, and their ancestors. Today, Mississauga remains home to many Indigenous People who contribute to the incredible diversity of this cultural hub.
Throughout National Indigenous History Month this June, join us in celebrating the rich contributions of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.
Learn About Local Indigenous History
Mississauga’s Indigenous origins are the foundation of its culture today.
The Chi-twaa Tigaanes Sacred Gardens, created by Heritage Mississauga, commemorates the Mississaugas of the Credit River circa 1826 to 1847, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, and the Credit Mission Village. Plaques provide a detailed history, while native plants such as sweetgrass, sage and echinacea, pay tribute to the origins of the land.
At Bradley House Museum, book a free guided tour to learn about the history of Indigenous Peoples in Mississauga. The tour will discuss the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as well as the 94 calls to action.
Throughout June, visitors can also explore the Honouring the Mississaugas Exhibit across 18 community centres and Benares Historic House. Commemorating the 175th anniversary of the Mississaugas leaving the Credit for a new home in Hagersville, the exhibit was created by the Museums of Mississauga in collaboration with the Mississaugas of the Credit to honour their legacy and celebrate the history of this mighty nation.
To learn more about the city’s Indigenous history, visit Heritage Mississauga.
Explore Indigenous Art and Culture
Mississauga’s public art is an important part of its culture, so it’s fitting that the city is home to some uniquely expressive indigenous art.
- As you explore the city, check out the beautiful and vibrant work The Flame of Life by Emily Kewageshig, an Anishinaabe artist and visual storyteller from Saugeen First Nation No. 29. The piece, which symbolizes the important role of fire in revitalizing life, is fittingly located at one of Mississauga’s fire stations.
- In Square One, you’ll find a sky for peoples and a space for us, created by Karly Cywink, an Ojibwe multidisciplinary artist, inspired by the sky and what it can hold.
These are just two of the growing collection of Indigenous works throughout Missississauga. Philip Cote, a Sundancer, Pipe Carrier and Sweat Ceremony leader from Moose Deer Point First Nation, will be working with the City to curate future locations as part of the Indigenous art along the waterfront initiative.
The city also has a number of special cultural events coming up:
- On June 15, the imagineNATIVE tour comes to the Living Arts Centre, with a free showing of Generational Legacies, Broken Angel by Dr. Jules Arita Koostachin (Cree). This powerful film shares the story of a mother who escapes from her abusive partner to a women’s shelter on the reservation.
- On June 16, enjoy a performance by Juno-nominated Cree cellist Cris Derksen, accompanied by an internationally-acclaimed ensemble, as she weaves her classical background and her Indigenous ancestry together with new school electronics to create genre-defying music.
- On June 21, the Mississauga Library hosts Author Talks: Cody Caetano. A writer of Anishinaabe and Portuguese descent and an off-reserve member of Pinaymootang First Nation, Caetano will talk about his debut memoir, Half-Bads in White Regalia, which was longlisted for Canada Reads 2023.
Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day
On June 21 from noon to 9:30 p.m., Celebration Square will be filled with exciting activities, including traditional songs and dance. The festivities will kick off with a Miichi Sagiig Anishinaabe United Pow Wow, hosted in collaboration with the Mississauga Nation. Events happening throughout the day include live performances from Indigenous artists, and opportunities to learn about Indigenous heritage, art and languages.
For full details, including an event schedule and helpful Pow Wow etiquette guidelines, visit the event website. The Fountain and food trucks will be open for extra fun.