Monica Virtue (MDes), a filmmaker and researcher from Woodstock, Ontario, has partnered with David D Plain (MTS), an Elder and author from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, to bring Treaty Workshops to Southern Ontario schools, municipalities, and other community groups interested in learning about the interwoven history of how Indigenous people and settlers came to share the land and call it home.
The three-day, one-day and four-hour workshops provide an in-depth history of early Anishinaabeg territory, with David contributing a detailed oral storytelling of how various Indigenous nations came to be located across Southern Ontario.
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 for the various land agreements and treaties. From there she covers the structure of the Department of Indian Affairs, and examines how the Department was used to systematically colonize Canada. She also discusses how various sections of the Indian Act, such as land surrenders, were used to fast-track the creation of colonial developments such as 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. Maps are used throughout to help visualize the changing legal status of the land and explain how it impacted the environment, the people and the animals already living on it. Each Treaty Workshop ends with a discussion about de-colonization, reconciliation, and building a stronger nation-to-nation relationship.
To request a custom-tailored agenda for your region and target audience, along with a quote for the various workshops available, please contact us by filling out the form below.