A Treaty Guide for Torontonians

About the Activities

Since 2015, we have been playing with history through performance, using our bodies and collaborative abilities to make deeper meaning with others. The Talking Treaties Quick Theatrical Creation workshops are the main inspiration for this approach to treaty relationship building. Personal interpretation is the priority, not romanticization of the people or topics we bring up.

alt text

Taken as a whole, these activities will lead you through an arts-based research process that you can try with others to create your own durational, multi-arts, and performative response. Of course, you don’t have to make anything with your research. The activities can be a private generative strategy to add some artful, experienced-based context to your consideration of Toronto treaties. Try one to compliment an existing learning plan. You can also skip the activities altogether and stay with the main text.

Most of the research and prompts can be completed independently, though many activities are structured for sharing and group learning. In the spirit of the Talking Treaties Quick Theatrical Creation process, don’t spend too long on any activity. Move flexibly through your responses and share only what you are comfortable with. Do only what is safe for you. If you don’t like a specific activity, don’t do it. Feel free to move into your own lines of questioning. There are no correct ways to do any of the activities.

When working with source texts, feel free to swap out offensive or dated language. The text is your material. It’s all right to chop up and rearrange phrases, words, and concepts to suit your ideas.

Make your own companion guide of any paper. You may be asked to remove pages, cut up portions, glue in research, collect data, make graphs, and take it outdoors. It might resemble a notebook, scrapbook, or a folder of loose-leaf. Use what works for you.

Some outdoor activities direct you to specific locations; others can be done almost anywhere, ideally in a place with wild-growing plants. Keep within earshot of one another in exploration areas. If no outdoor space is available, a view of the outdoors could work. If no “natural” space is available, try to find the “natural” indoors. This guide provides suggestions for day trips across the city. If you can’t physically make it to the sites, spend some time researching them online, and do the activities in a comparable space, near you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paper for your companion guide.
  • Writing materials (pens, pencils, fine-point markers, or an assortment of colour pastels or pencil crayons).
  • Temporary hanging space for arts-based research and writing (line and clips, tape on wall, or corkboard and pins).
  • Table with spots for each participant.
  • Standing space large enough to make a circle and round enough that all participants can see one another’s eyes.

Your companion guide is a reflective tool, a way to revisit your ideas and arts-based research. Revisit and repeat activities as you like. Commit to returning to talk with others. Your notes, doodles, responses, and performances are yours to keep, or you can send them to us at [email protected].

You'll find activities interspersed with the historical text throughout the pages on this site, to guide embodied explorations of treaty relations in the present. If you want to skip the narrative and jump right into some activities, start here: