The workshop was such a great opportunity for my students. 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 of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation and filmmaker/designer Monica Virtue of Woodstock, Ontario, are now booking Treaty Workshops with libraries, schools, First Nations and other community groups. The workshops feature custom agendas that target both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants of all ages, and fuse traditional oral storytelling with interactive mapping, animations and videos. The two discuss wampum treaties, cession treaties, and the various ways the treaties were broken. The workshops end with the topic of de-colonization, reconciliation and world building.
David’s voice is predominant in the first half of the workshops as he discusses Indigenous 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.
Monica uses maps to explain colonization through the land agreements known as cession or “surrender” treaties. She discusses the ways the Department of Indian Affairs broke the treaties, such as through Indian Act surrenders, the Oliver Act, and enfranchisement. Data visualization is used to explain complicated concepts, such as Aboriginal title and the structure of the Department of Indian Affairs. 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.
Each workshop is modified to reflect the territory in which it is held, and David and Monica welcome Indigenous attendees from that territory to share their knowledge to make sure of the correct pronunciation of words and that their understandings dovetail with that of the presenters. Workshops are also age-specific, whether designed for a two-day training session for teachers or a two-hour intensive with students.
Some dates are still available for late January, with bookings being accepted throughout February and into the fall school term.
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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.