Westben Centre for Connection & Creativity through Music
Westben is nestled amongst the gently rolling hills of the Gunshot Treaty lands and subsequent Williams Treaties of 1923, and the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig (Mississauga) Anishinaabeg near what is now known as Campbellford, Ontario.
This area today includes neighbouring Alderville, Hiawatha, and Curve Lake First Nations—thriving communities with cultural roots of music-making spanning thousands of years! If you would like to learn more about the Indigenous history around where Westben resides, we recommend clicking on the links of these nations above and reading: Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg: The History by Doug Williams and edited by Leanne Betasamoke Simpson, Alderville First Nation… A History by Brian Beaver and the Village of Hiawatha: A History by Heather Y. Shpuniarsky and the Village of Hiawatha Book Committee.
As we continue to learn about the living histories of this place, it’s also important to know about the ongoing harms of colonization in Canada that can be traced to forced assimilation practices like the 1923 Williams Treaty, the Indian Act, and residential schools which operated from 1894 to 1997, and many others.
Our music-making at Westben is therefore in grateful recognition and appreciation of our Michi Saagiig friends whose music has filled these lands for generations.