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Great Lakes Research Alliance
for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures

March 2022 Newsletter

Aanii!  She:kon!  Yiheh!  Welcome!  Bienvenue!

Today is the second anniversary of GRASAC's first newsletter, sent on March 1, 2020! In this issue's stories we explore the developments in GRASAC's Great Lakes Treaty Timeline, and work that celebrates Indigenous art and highlights the experiences of Indigenous women.

Stories in this issue:
  • Celebrating GRASAC's Second Anniversary of Newsletters
  • Additions to the GRASAC Great Lakes Treaty Timeline
  • New Great Lakes Indigenous Communities Map
  • Art Speaks: Cosmic Geometry in Anishinaabe Textiles
Events and Exhibitions
  • The Women of Chiefswood: An Exhibition of Adversity and Women Beyond Their Time
  • Under the Museum, Under the University, Under the City: the Land
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Celebrating GRASAC's Second Anniversary of Newsletters
By Shenella Charles

The GRASAC communications team would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the content of  the past two years of newsletters. We also thank you, the readers. We hope the newsletter helps you connect to the work of your friends and colleagues in GRASAC and beyond.

Over the past two years with the spread of COVID-19 and numerous lockdowns, having a digital means of maintaining regular connections in a time of physical isolation became increasingly important. We hope that the newsletter has been helpful and engaging, and that it will continue to be in the months and years to come.

GRASAC newsletters have featured a wide range of stories. As we have just concluded Black History Month, we would like to highlight important work that was done by GRASAC members on Black History here.

As always, GRASAC will work to keep you up to date on developments through this newsletter. Please share any stories that you would like to include in future newsletters here.
Additions to the GRASAC Great Lakes Treaty Timeline

GRASAC Research Assistants (RAs) are enriching the information in the Great Lakes Treaty Timeline, which was launched on during Ontario Treaty Recognition Week last November. We’re excited for these new entries, two of which are introduced by the RAs below.
Treaty No. 9 Presentation by Sheila Wheesk

Treaty No. 9 Resource Page and Video
By Sheila Wheesk
My name is Sheila Wheesk, and my clan is Muskwa. I am from the western part of James Bay; I grew up in Moosonee until I was a youth. I am working on a Master's degree with the Department of History at the University of Toronto. My thesis is about cultural material and women's governance. I am a TA at the University of Toronto for the Indigenous History of the Great Lakes, 1810 to the Present, and also a RA for GRASAC.

I have fond memories of northern Ontario because of my relationship with the land, the people, the history, the oral stories, and most importantly, because I am a Treaty no. 9 Indian. However, I lacked the historical background about Treaty no. 9 and its written text. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to learn about the process of treaties in the History and Native Studies courses at the University of Toronto.

See the Treaty No. 9 page here
Medal dated 1764 with image of two persons with the text Happy While United

Treaty of Niagara Alliance Medal, 1764. Library and Archives Canada. Accession no. 1986-79-1612/ e010933865

Treaty of Niagara Resource Page
By Amelia Healey

It was a pleasure to contribute to GRASAC’s Great Lakes Treaty Timeline and support the creation of treaty summaries that shed light on, and connect, these important agreements. In the article on the Treaty of Niagara, readers will find information on the approximately 2000 Indigenous representatives present during the treaty in 1764. This article highlights the negotiation objectives, including entering and renewing the Covenant Chain alliance and re-establishing trade. The heading image for the article is of a British-commissioned medal that demonstrates how this agreement was recorded in material items, such as medals and wampum belts.

I am grateful to have been able to compile information on the Treaty of Niagara from excellent sources, especially Alan Ojiig Corbiere’s dissertation “Anishinaabe Treaty-Making in the 18th-and-19th-Century Northern Great Lakes: From Shared Meanings to Epistemological Chasms,” John Borrows’s book chapter “Wampum at Niagara,” and Paul William’s Master of Laws thesis, “The Chain.” Learning about the symbolism and meaning carried in the Covenant Chain was one of my favourite elements of this research. In his work, Williams writes that like a chain, the alliance binds different nations, making strong and equal partnerships between individuals. The alliance is meant to be expanded but not lessened, with unjust bloodshed being corrosive to the chain. I learned a great deal from this project, and I hope that this short article will be interesting and valuable to anyone reading.

See the Treaty of Niagara page here
Gray, white, and black map of the Great Lakes region with numbers and labels, oriented East.

New Great Lakes Indigenous Communities Map

Also new to is an amazing map of Great Lakes Tribal Councils and First Nations, made by Nicky Recollet of Crane’s Atlas and Robinson Huron Waawiindaamaagewin for Heidi Bohaker’s book, Doodem and Council Fire: Anishinaabe Governance through Alliance. The map can be found next to the Great Lakes Treaty Timeline under the “Learn” tab on the GRASAC website.
See the Map page here
Cosmic Geometry in Anishinaabe Textiles presentation by Cory Willmott
Art Speaks: Cosmic Geometry in Anishinaabe Textiles
By Cory Wilmott

For GRASAC colleagues who may have missed my Saint Louis Art Museum talk, “Art Speaks: Cosmic Geometry in Anishinaabe Textiles,” the video recording has been posted to the SLAM YouTube channel.
The Women of Chiefswood: An Exhibition of Adversity and Women Beyond Their Time

Chiefswood National Historic Site will be hosting an exhibit to celebrate International Women's Day, E. Pauline Johnson's birthday and the women of Chiefswood. The exhibit will showcase the lives of E. Pauline Johnson, her mother, Emily S. Howells, and her sister, Evelyn Johnson.
Learn More Here
Image from Art Museum at the University of Toronto Website
Under the Museum, Under the University, Under the City: the Land
from the Art Museum at the University of Toronto

Join us for a keynote lecture, “Under the Museum, Under the University, Under the City: the Land,” with the artist-activist movement Decolonize This Place.

When: Wednesday, March 30, 4pm–6pm
Where: University College, UC 140, University of Toronto campus
Learn More and Register Here
Miigwech, nia:wen, thank you, merci: we hope you have enjoyed these stories!
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