Kiskisiwin | remembering


Kiskisiwin | remembering is a short documentary by Metis PhD candidate Jesse Thistle, Professor Martha Steigman, and Professor Anders Sandberg. It provides a poignant counternarrative to the erasure of Indigenous peoples through colonial historical narratives, particularly at Black Creek Pioneer Village, and especially in the context of Canada 150. Recommended viewing for educators and classrooms at all levels.

Discounted Tickets for Anishinaabeg: Art & Power at the ROM

From June 17 – November 19, 2017, the ROM is featuring Anishinaabeg: Art and Power, an exhibition of Anishinaabeg stories and understandings as told through Anishinaabeg artistic expression. Co-curated by Arni Brownstone, Alan Corbiere, and Saul Williams, and interpreted with the aid of local Indigenous docents, the exhibit is grounded in Indigenous expertise and perspectives.

You can also receive 20% off the regular ticket price by using the ‘FIRSTSTORYTO’ promo code!


Public tours by First Story Toronto / Wild Foragers Society every weekend in June 2017

Indigneous-Plants_web-bannerWe are pleased to be co-leading a series of public tours with Wild Foragers Society on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of June 2017. The tours are being offered as part of this year’s Subtle Technologies Festival. The tours will start and end at the Evergreen Brickworks and will focus on Indigenous histories of Toronto and edible / medicine plants in the area. Each weekend is a different theme! Registration is required and the event is pay-what-you-can. We hope to see you there!

FREE First Story Toronto Walking Tours for Myseum Intersections Festival, March 11th and 25th

We are pleased to announce that First Story Toronto, in collaboration with our partner Drift Toronto, will be offering 2 FREE public walking tours for the Myseum Intersections Festival. Here are the details:

Tour #1 – Indigenous Knowledge and Storytelling along the Lower Don

Join Philip Cote and Jon Johnson for an interactive storytelling tour of Indigenous medicines, landscapes, and histories of accomplishment, struggle, and resilience in the Lower Don and downtown area.

Time: Saturday, March 11th, 2-4pm
Place: We will meet near north end of the Corktown Common, where Bayview Ave. intersects with Lawren Harris Square.

Register through Eventbrite for your free tickets to this tour!

Tour #2 – Ancestors and Identity in North York

Join First Story Toronto guides Sarena Johnson and Brian MacLean for an interactive storytelling tour of the North York neighbourhood surrounding Gibson House Museum, highlighting stories from this area’s 12,000 years of Indigenous history and exploring how everyone’s ancestry and identity can be honoured in public places.

Time: Saturday, March 25th, 2-4pm
Place: Gibson House Museum, 5172 Yonge St, North York

Register through Eventbrite for your free tickets to this tour!

This year’s Winter Solstice Walk

Making Indigenous Connections in the Lower Don Valley!

Join us with Toronto Green Community, Lost Rivers, Toronto Community
Garden Network, Toronto Field Naturalists, Evergreen Brick Works and friends!

Celebration, stories, and exploration of the beautiful landscape of Don River Valley. Discover Mud Creek by exploring the deep roots of the area, and learn about what is happening now with a view towards reconciling our relations with each other and Mother Earth.

Come early to Evergreen Brick Works early to enjoy its Winter Village (opening December 10, from 11am-7pm on weekends).

Itinerary at Evergreen Brick Works, Sunday Dec. 18:
1:00pm – Celebration begins inside the BMO Atrium with hot chocolate, conversation and an opening ceremony. Hear about Rivers Rising, RAINscapeTO, the Mud Creek Community Canoe Project, and plans for Don River Valley Park.

2:00pm – We head outdoors for a walk to continue with stories and explorations of Indigenous Connections with Jon Johnson, Brian MacLean, Vivian Recollet and friends. Kids welcome.

3:45pm – Walk ends at the Watershed Consciousness Wall and a short closing ceremony. What better way to celebrate the arrival of winter?!

Walk Leaders: Members of First Story Toronto, Toronto Green Community, Lost Rivers, and friends.

Space is limited so reserve here if you can join us:

Our beautiful photo from last year’s event (below) is courtesy of Arabi Rajeswaran.



First Story Toronto Tours began in 1995 with a bus tour called “The Great Indian Bus Tour.” Our name has changed since then, and we’ve developed a MOBILE APP app for self-directed exploration as well (the app is free and available for iOS and Android phones and tablets.)

We offer currently walking and bus tours that focus on telling stories of Toronto’s rich and enduring Indigenous heritage from Indigenous perspectives. Some of the topics include:

  • Ancient Indigenous trails and portages
  • Old villages, campsites, and burying places
  • Hunting, fishing, and medicine places
  • Indigenous place names
  • Treaties and colonialism
  • Indigenous resilience and adaptation
  • Indigenous Knowledge

The bus tours are usually about 3 hours long and the walking tours are about 2-3 hours long, but we can customize times and routes as needed.

If you have a group that is interested in booking a bus or walking tour, let us know and we can send you more detailed information.

2 Events honouring Indigenous sites in Toronto on Sept 21

Coincidentally, two groups are honouring different sites in Toronto with important ties to our Indigenous history, on the same day: Wednesday September 21.

At 2pm, the Sandhill Site at 1 Bloor St. West will host The Sandhill Ceremony with Chief Stacey LaForme and Elder Garry Sault from the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, together with City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam will commemorate the burial ground that once existed here. Whereas settler bodies were reinterred in the Toronto Necropolis (“City of the Dead”), Indigenous bodies were not relocated and were reportedly lost in the new construction work of the 19th century. (Free admission, no reservation necessary.)

In the evening, from 6-8pm, Heritage Toronto is hosting a Heritage Night and Open House at The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West. The occasion is the installation of a plaque to honour Six Nations athlete TOM LONGBOAT. Longboat trained at The Great Hall in the early 20th century when it was The West End YMCA. He went on to compete in the Boston Marathon in 1907, finishing first and setting a new course record. In addition to the plaque, the building’s venue, The Lower Hall, will be officially renamed Longboat Hall. Admission is free but spaces are limited so reserve here:

Indigenous Waterways, Sunday Sept. 11


You are invited to “Indigenous Waterways”, a full day event organized by the Toronto Green Community in partnership with First Story, Evergreen Brick Works and Sustainability Network.

We will work together to build connections and strengthen the capacity of Toronto’s diverse communities to take action by providing an indigenous approach on relating to and caring for our watersheds.

The day’s agenda will include:

Keynote speaker: Josephine Mandamin, Ojibwe Grandmother & Water Walker

– A Water Ceremony and traditional singing, dancing and drumming
– Panel presentations highlighting challenges facing our waterways and solutions-based initiatives
– A First Story Walk around the Evergreen Brick Works grounds
– A Community Canoe planting with Homegrown National Park & David Suzuki Foundation
…and a great opportunity for networking!

We hope you will join us to share and discover Indigenous knowledge, enjoy fun activities, make connections, explore Lost Rivers and find out how you can help build a blue-green city! 

Event Details 
Sunday, September 11, 2016
10:00am to 5:30pm
BMO Atrium, Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue
Tickets: $25.00 per person

To buy tickets and register for the event

Join us this weekend for our Doors Open Toronto walk

This weekend, as part of the city-wide Doors Open Toronto festival, we are offering 4 FREE 90-minute walks:

Starting at 11am & 2pm, on both Saturday and Sunday May 28-29

We’ll meet at Yonge & Gould, on the steps of the new Ryerson Student Learning Centre, and end at Allan Gardens a few blocks away.

To keep crowds manageable, we’ve been asked to limit each walk to 50 people so if you’re interested, please reserve online here.

(And if you’d like to volunteer on one or more of the walks, to help with traffic, etc., send us a message at

FREE First Story Walking Tours this weekend

This year, First Story is participating in the 10th annual Jane’s Walk festival. More than 100 FREE walking tours are happening all weekend, including 2 by First Story (alone or in partnership with friends from compatible projects). Here’s our list of events, but have a look at the complete list – your neighbourhood may be there waiting for you to discover its secrets!

Jane’s Walks are free, locally organized walking tours, in which people get together to explore, talk about and celebrate their neighbourhoods. Where more traditional tours are a bit like walking lectures, a Jane’s Walk is more of a walking conversation. Leaders share their knowledge, but also encourage discussion and participation among the walkers.

FIRST STORY TORONTO’s tours this weekend:

* SATURDAY, MAY 7, at 4:30pm, starting at the Spadina Wave-deck (Queens Quay West at the foot of Spadina):

An Alternate Version of Toronto’s Origin Story: Torontonians are beginning to appreciate that this isn’t a “new place.” We’ll explore sites on the waterfront that tell a fuller, more inclusive story of the 12,000 years of Toronto history. Details here:

(Come early and enjoy the BBQ hosted by the nearby Harbourfront Neighbourhood Centre starting at 3:30pm)

Rosary Spence, Mountie, Simcoe portrait_2015Aug6_lr

* SUNDAY, MAY 8, at 2pm, starting at the Allenby Public School, Avenue Rd at St. Clements Ave (4 blocks north of Eglinton)

Mud Creek: the Path of our Past, Present and Future

Led by First Story and our friends at Toronto Green Community and Lost Rivers, we’ll explore the deep roots of the neighbourhood, tracing back to the time of the Wendat, then on to the present with a view towards reconciling our relations with each other and Mother Earth. Following the route of the buried Mud Creek, visit the site of the former Wendat village and ossuary perched on the hill where Allenby Public School is today. We’ll recall the Pears Brickyard and ask whether the clay was used by Wendat potters centuries earlier. And we’ll end at Eglinton Park and its Community Garden with a Worm Composter. Hear about Rain Gardens and the Three Sisters. What’s in a name? How many streets, buildings, and sites in Toronto maintain their original Indigenous names? Where did Mud Creek start and end? Where can we find it now? Do you know about other Lost Rivers in Toronto? For more details:

Jackes site, Wendat Village_Kocsis