Category Archives: Treaty People

A Journey to Manitoulin Island – notes on a voyage of reconciliation

by Maggie Panter

Coral Petzoldt and I set out on a bright Saturday morning for a trip to Manitoulin Island to Connect to the Land, a tour organized by some folks from Church of the Redeemer and Trinity St. Paul’s.

There were nine of us, three folks tented, one stayed in Little Currant, and the rest were housed in cottages overlooking the water.

We attended a church service in Kagawong, St. John the Evangelist, the mariners’ church. Fr. Aiden has five children that he is responsible for! We spoke to the head of the Historical Society in Kagawin and visited the Old Mill Heritage Centre after walking along the Bridal Continue reading A Journey to Manitoulin Island – notes on a voyage of reconciliation

Walking With Our Sisters

Walking With Our Sisters
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This October in Toronto, there is a very special opportunity to honour and remember the more than a thousand, Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirit people who have been murdered or remain missing. Walking With Our Sisters is a commemorative art installation hosted at the Aboriginal Education Centre, at 16 Phin Avenue, near Donlands and Danforth, from the 15th to the 22th of October.

Walking With Our Sisters is a national community based commemorative project of nearly 2,000 “vamps” — the tops of moccasins that have been intentionally left unfinished signifying the loss of unfinished lives. More than an art exhibit, this ceremony invites you on a journey to remember the losses, to honour grieving families and to work for change. Continue reading Walking With Our Sisters

Celebrating Canada’s Long History

July 2, 10:30 am. We gather with each other and with Treaty Canoe. We will sing together, hear readings from Ryan McMahon, Christi Belcourt and the Gospel. We will reflect on our country, history and ourselves and respond as we are called and able. We will share the gifts of the land and of human hands. Please join us. Continue reading Celebrating Canada’s Long History

Treaty Canoe at Holy Trinity

Treaty Canoe

Treaty Canoe by Alex McKay (1999, 12’x24”x32”,) is a performance/sculpture/installation that is made from cedar, copper wire, birch bark, red-ribbon, glue, and treaties hand-penned onto hand-made linen paper. Using dip pen and ink, treaties were performatively transcribed by many hands.

Keith, and the Treaty People circle have been working to bring an art installation called Treaty Canoe (Alex McKay, artist) to Holy Trinity as part of our journey toward reconciliation. Most recently displayed publicly at Osgoode Law School early last year, this piece was created in 1999, long before ‘reconciliation’ entered the general public’s mind as an idea. Encumbered, as so much of reconciliation work is, by conversations of appropriation and our understanding of history and relationship, this work will help us become more aware of the treaties which enable the existence of Canada and our responsibilities to each other.

We are hoping this will allow us to engage more of the public in the conversation as they visit our space and see Treaty Canoe suspended from our ceiling, just out of reach. We would welcome the help of any members of the HT community in interpreting and spreading the word–whether you are part of People Presence, the Sunday worship group, the refugee committee, Christmas Story, hospice, housing, or one of “the guys.”

We’re still finalising details, but are hoping that the installation will begin before the end of June and run into mid-September.

Artist’s statement:

Volunteers, most having never read a treaty, in a de-colonial gesture, undertook a close reading, and then reluctantly and poignantly signed the contracts in the stead of their original faithful negotiators.

Treaty Canoe speaks of mutual, sacred bonds of honour and makes clear that we are all treaty people. When exhibited it hangs by a thread balanced on a central pivot point above its centre thwart. It responds to the slightest breeze of a passer-by, rocking and turning. Lit from above the craft becomes translucent; in casting a shadow it becomes two canoes, floating in the same current on separate but parallel courses. The transcription process is one of claiming ownership, and responsibility, if not for the past, then the present and future of our relationship.

We are all treaty people”

Alex McKay


Niigaani-gichigami: Gratitude Walk and Festival, June 16th

Friday, June 16th,

6pm Sherbourne Waterfront

7pm BBQ St. James Park, King and Church St.

We would be honoured to have your presence amongst us in prayer and witness as we seek to come together as a diverse community to acknowledge our interdependence on one another, our faith traditions, the land, and the water we live on. This festival is interfaith and intends to express gratitude for Lake Ontario (Niigaani-gichigami in Anishnawbe, Ontario is the Huron-Wendat name). The June 16th Gratitude Walk and Festival will begin with  Loreen Blu Waters opening us in a water ceremony, followed by prayers and songs offered by different faith leaders. Continue reading Niigaani-gichigami: Gratitude Walk and Festival, June 16th