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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

How collectible toys offer food for thought on consumerism

ShopkinsMost are about the size of a potato chip. Some are even smaller. But to millions of youngsters around the world, they are a very big deal. They are the toy craze of 2015, with many parents finding Shopkins at the top of their children’s wish list this holiday season.

Manufactured by Australia’s Moose Toys, Shopkins is a popular line of more than 140 playful, tiny and ultra-cute collectible characters. Each represents an anthropomorphized grocery, household or cosmetic item (such as guitar-playing broccoli, giggling mushrooms and winking nail polish bottles). Named the 2015 Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association of America, Shopkins boasted sales of over six million units in only four months.

You might not expect kids to take interest in something like plastic vegetables – so what might account for the Shopkins’ immense global success? Dr. Laura Pinto, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) has been exploring that very question. 

“From a marketing perspective, Shopkins plays to the ‘collecting instinct’ of children– something that begins as early as the age of three, and intensifies between ages eight and 10,” Pinto explains. “Shopkins is all about collecting sets and rare characters, then trading them with friends – much like earlier generations of kids did using marbles or baseball cards and the like. It’s no wonder that this type of play has appealed to kids.”

Listen to Dr. Pinto's recent interview with CBC Windsor Morning on the topic.