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A Treaty Guide for Torontonians

Jumblies Press and Toronto Biennial of Art in partnership with Art Metropole
18 × 30 cm
180 pp
Indigenous Art & Artists, Activism, Canadian, Politics, Drawing

Part of Jumblies Theatre & Arts’s multi-year Talking Treaties project, A Treaty Guide for Torontonians is an artful examination of the complex intercultural roots of treaty relationships in the place we now call Toronto. Scholarly and historical research is complemented by outdoor activities, theatrical pursuits and contemporary writing prompts that help readers explore the modern-day subjective and physical embodiment of treaty relations. This combination of art-based research and Toronto specific knowledge inspires an active approach to treaty awareness through embodied learning tools.

Beginning with Indigenous treaty-making principles expressed in early inter-Indigenous and intercultural alliances such as the Two Row Wampum/Covenant Chain, the Wendat-Algonquian-French alliance, and the Dish With One Spoon agreement, we strive to provide a rich historical and cultural context. Local narratives carry us through the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the 1764 Treaty of Niagara, which together constitute the legal and ethical foundation for Indigenous / non-Indigenous relations across the Great Lakes region. Together, they underpin later Upper Canada land cession agreements, including the so-called Toronto Purchase of 1787 and its confirmation in 1805, as well as the land claims process that resulted in the 2010 settlement of the Toronto Purchase specific claim in favour of the Mississaugas of the Credit.

The publication illustrates the importance of visual and symbolic languages, mnemonic practices, and personal relationship to the documentation presented, complemented by lush illustration; exciting the readers’ curiosity, engaging their senses and imagination, and encouraging them to rethink historic, current, and future treaty relationships. We strove to build familiarity with the key agreements that underpin relations in Toronto today through accessible, memorable activations and shared performative experience.

An enriched and augmented digital version of A Treaty Guide will be made accessible to the general public in early fall 2022, featuring additional resources for high school, undergraduate, and community learners, including the 30-minute By These Presents: ‘Purchasing’ Toronto video and Dish Dances movement education video; links to additional historical resources and original documents; and interviews with Indigenous thought leaders.

Jumblies Theatre + Arts, the Toronto Biennial of Art, and the authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, York University’s Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change, the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada for the creation and publication of this book.

Created by the Talking Treaties Collective: Ange Loft, Victoria Freeman, Martha Stiegman, and Jill Carter
Illustration: Kaia’tanó:ron Dumoulin Bush, Karis Jones-Pard and Alaska B.
Copy editor: Lesley Erickson
Graphic design: Sébastien Aubin
Print Production: Type A Print Inc.
Talking Treaties project lead: Ange Loft, Associate Artistic Director, Jumblies Theatre + Arts

Hardcover with foldout wampum belt replicas and original illustrations to commemorate each treaty.

  1. A Treaty Guide

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