The Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre plays a critical role as an advocate for the accessibility of independently produced film, contributes to the creation of a culture receptive to artist-made moving image work, and remits royalties to artists for the exhibition of their works.
Established in 1967, CFMDC is a not-for-profit, artist-run centre that has since grown and evolved into a world-renowned distributor of independent media art. We honour our collective history of avant-garde art film, while playing a key-role in determining a more contemporary definition of distribution in the digital milieu. Now in our 50th year, with 3700+ films in our catalogue by over 1000 members, CFMDC is one of the most enduring, respected, forward thinking, and engaged, distribution centres in Canada.
Our territorial acknowledgment is meant to stand as a first step towards reflecting on our existence on stolen lands and our commitment to better understanding the complex and varied histories of this land, the territories of the Anishanaabe, the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudensosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, the Cree and any other Nation who cared for the land (acknowledged and unacknowledged, recorded and unrecorded).
We accept that acknowledgment in this way doesn’t end here and is a living statement open to discussion and change. We intend this Territorial Acknowledgement to demonstrate our commitment to continued awareness, reflection, and establishing reciprocal relations. Therefore, we do not intend this statement to signify closure and acceptance of the continued structural conditions of settler colonialism.
The daily work of CFMDC takes place in Toronto which is covered by Treaty 13, a treaty signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaty signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. We also acknowledge the ‘Dish’ With One Spoon treaty that covers the land of what is now called southern Ontario and is between the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee.
We also acknowledge the Treaty of Niagara as a founding moment of constitutional relations between Indigenous Nations and the colonial Nation as an important part of Canada’s history and should be respected as part of a Nation to Nation relationship.
We reference these recent treaties and agreements of this land that is today called Toronto to acknowledge the responsibility of settlers. Importantly, we remain cognizant that the history of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island is thousands of years old and that communities and territories extend beyond colonial legal boundaries and that there were systems of sharing and negotiations between nations through their own diplomatic and legal systems.
This acknowledgment is a first step in the ongoing process of decolonization. Compelling us, our settler colonial members and community members, to further understand our obligations to the Nations of these territories and the concrete treaties that are part of the long history on Turtle Island.
Today, the meeting place of Toronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work in the community and on this territory.
We strive to work in the spirit of the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Report; Particularly Recommendations for Museums and Archives and Recommendations for Media and Reconciliation. We also work with the knowledge of the importance of recognition of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the four First Nations Principles of OCAP®. And as a media arts organization and member of the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) we would like to acknowledge and support the incredible work of National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC).