David’s knowledge and humour helped to make a lot of history fit together and make sense. The visuals and materials helped make his story come alive!
~ Paul C., high school educator, Brantford
Anishnaabe author David D Plain from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation and filmmaker/researcher Monica Virtue are now available for one-day, two-day and three-day treaty workshops that are ideal for Southern Ontario school boards interested in providing training for Treaties Recognition Week 2018. The intensives feature agendas that target both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants, fusing traditional oral storytelling with interactive mapping, animations and videos. Topics covered include wampum treaties, cession treaties, and the various ways the treaties were broken.
Speaking from the perspective of an Indigenous historian, David’s voice is predominant in the first half of the workshops as he discusses spirituality, ceremonies and traditions before leading into canoe routes. While David tells the Anishnaabeg migration story, Monica maps his story in real-time using Google Earth. David then discusses the following struggles with other contending First Nations and colonial powers and the different wampum exchanged to end them, sharing physical items like a replica Two Row wampum and a calumet.
Speaking from the perspective of a settler, Monica uses maps to explain colonization through the land agreements known as cession or “surrender” treaties. She then discusses the ways the Department of Indian Affairs broke the treaties, such as through Indian Act surrenders, the Oliver Act, and enfranchisement. Simple diagrams are used to explain complicated concepts like Aboriginal title and the structure of the Department of Indian Affairs. The workshops end with the topics of de-colonization and reconciliation.
The goal of the workshops is to “connect the dots” between historical events of the past, the Canadian legal system, and present-day issues which teachers may find themselves discussing with their students. Equal weight is given to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge, with comparisons drawn between world views as told through the Anishnaabe and Western creation stories. Monica often refers back to David’s portion of the workshop to stress how archival research and traditional knowledge can dovetail and support each other.
The workshops can be modified to reflect the territory in which they are held. David can address the specific wampum that were exchanged over that territory, while Monica can speak to the particular cession treaties, Indian Act surrenders, and other treaty-breaking that occurred within the region. Indigenous attendees from that territory are welcomed to share their knowledge to make sure their understandings dovetail with that of the presenters.
One-day, two-day and three-day training sessions are now being booked for the summer months and leading into Treaties Recognition Week during the first week of November. Please fill out the form below to inquire into which dates are still available.
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To request a custom-tailored agenda for your region and target audience, along with an estimate for an appropriate length of workshop, please fill out the form below. We will respond within 5 to 7 business days.
Thank you. Miigwech.