June 11, 2024

The International Axe Throwing Federation holds the International Axe Throwing Championship on the traditional lands of many Indigenous peoples. June is National Indigenous History month in Canada and June 21 is National Indigenous People’s Day, observed on the longest day of the year.

BATL Port Lands, Stockyards, and Vaughan are located within the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee peoples. This land is covered by Treaty 13 signed by the Mississauguas of the Credit.

BATL Pickering is on the traditional lands of many Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinabek, and the Huron-Wendat peoples. This land is now home to many  diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

White settler history often begins the story of North America with the arrival of the first colonists on the eastern shores. However, Indigenous histories and archeological research can show us that Turtle Island has a long history stretching back thousands of years, and even beyond into time immemorial.

For example, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy is made up of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations whose territories range from the eastern half of Lake Erie, along northern Pennsylvania, from Albany to Montreal, including the Kawarthas region and all of Lake Ontario. 

Often described as the oldest, participatory democracy on Earth, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy’s constitution is believed to be a model for the American Constitution. What makes it stand out as unique to other systems around the world is its blending of law and values. For the Haudenosaunee, law, society and nature are equal partners and each plays an important role.

For more information about the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, visit https://www.haudenosauneeconfederacy.com/who-we-are/.

The IATF values inclusivity and diversity in our sport. We believe that axe throwing can and should be for everyone and anyone. However, we must reckon with the fact that Indigenous people have historically experienced racism, exclusion, lack of accommodation, or erasure in sports. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada gave 94 calls to action, 5 of which were about sport. As the governing body of urban axe throwing, we believe that we can learn from and respond to these calls, specifically:

91. We call upon the officials and host countries of international sporting events such as the Olympics, Pan Am, and Commonwealth games to ensure that Indigenous peoples' territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in such events.

The IATF pledges to begin the process of engaging local Indigenous communities as we prepare for IATC 2025. It is our goal to create a relationship with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Huron-Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinabek in an effort to meaningfully respect their histories on the land and attempt to disrupt colonial practices.

Finally, we encourage all participants and spectators at IATC to learn more about the Indigenous people of the land they inhabit and visit. A great resource is the Native Land Digital, an interactive map that is a great starting point for jumping in the complexities and breadth of the land.

Support the Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity

The Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity is the official charitable-fundraising arm of the Anishinabek Nation and its 39 First Nation communities. Their goal is to establish a foundation that will help improve the quality of life for First Nation communities and citizens.


“Who We Are.” Haudenosaunee Confederacy, 24 June 2021, www.haudenosauneeconfederacy.com/who-we-are/. 

Government of Canada; Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. “Sports and Reconciliation.” Government of Canada; Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 28 Sept. 2023, www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1524505883755/1557512006268.