Monica Virtue has partnered with David D Plain, an Elder and author from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, to bring Treaty Workshops to schools, municipalities, community groups and anyone else interested in learning about the interwoven history of Southwestern Ontario’s Indigenous people and the settler Canadians who call the land home.
The one-day and three-day workshops provide an in-depth history of early Anishinaabeg territory, with David contributing a detailed oral storytelling of how the Aamjiwnaang First Nation came to be located on the St. Clair River near Lake Huron.
Wampum belt for the 1764 Treaty of Niagara.
Monica builds on David’s knowledge by starting with a discussion about how counter-mapping can be used as a tool to regain control from the dominant power structures. Using maps, she discusses negotiations between the Anishinaabeg and the British for the 1827 Huron Tract treaty. From there she covers the structure of the Department of Indian Affairs, and examines how the Department was used to colonize Canada. She also discusses the various sections of the Indian Act, such as land surrenders, that were used to fast-track the creation of Sarnia’s Chemical Valley.
Chemical Valley, located south of the City of Sarnia.
Overall, the workshops focus on the ways that oral storytelling and archival research can dovetail and fit together to paint a full picture of the true history of the land. Each Treaty Workshop ends with a discussion about de-colonization, reconciliation, and building a stronger nation-to-nation relationship.
For more information, download the brochure (PDF – 261 KB).
Questions? Please contact us by filling out the form below.