Opening Ceremonies

“Please gather on the field of play, facing home plate.

[Wait for players to line up on the 1st and 3rd base lines]

Before we embark on this season, let us take time to acknowledge and reflect on the land on which we play and the peoples who have tended to the relationships of these territories since time immemorial.
All players are now asked to turn and face the direction of the place of your birth.
We gather today to play the game of ball, a very old game that asks us to reflect upon our journey of leaving and coming home. In order to recognize our relationships with the land on which we play, please take a moment to reflect upon the journey that you and your family took to arrive upon these territories or to caretake for these territories.

[Moment of contemplation/silence]

Thank you, now please turn back and face home.
We want to thank and honour the peoples of the Three Fires Anishinaabek [A-NISH-NAH-BEH] Confederacy, the Haudenosaunee [HO-DEN-A-SHOW-NEE] Confederacy, and the Wendat [WHEN-DOT] Nation for their longstanding, and continued tending to relationships with this land. Tkaronto [Tuk-a-ronto] in the Haudenosaunee [HO-DEN-A-SHOW-NEE] languages is said to mean “where there are trees standing in water” and is a phrase to describe this place we call home. We are situated near the Great Lake Ontario at the confluence of the Credit, the Humber, the Don, and the Rouge Rivers and our field sits atop Garrison Creek. These are the five houses of our league and these are the names of our teams. These names remind us of our responsibilities to these territories and to the land on which we play – we have these responsibilities as a league on and off the field. While we are sorted in different house, we are connected together through the goals, aspirations, and principles that guide our league and relationship to this land and our communities.

We put down tobacco to thank the land for gifting us this field of play.
[Player with tobacco, jogs from their place on the field to home plate. They are asked to thank each direction (North, East, South, West) and then places tobacco on home plate]