April 23, 2015: The Truth that Wampum Tells: Learning Canada’s Constitutional History through Wampum Diplomacy

The Truth that Wampum Tells: Learning Canada’s Constitutional History through Wampum Diplomacy

Featuring Author / Activist / Artist Dr. Lynn Gehl, Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
Black Squirrel Books, 1073 Bank Street (at Sunnyside Avenue)

There is some parking to the south of the building, but often little on-street parking, because of proximity to the Mayfair.

Note on Accessibility: Unfortunately, this event is not accessible. This location does not have an accessible washroom. There is a small (5-10 cm) step in front of the entrance, which some wheelchairs have crossed in the past. Once inside there is a flight of 10 stairs to the event.

Event description:

The 1763 Royal Proclamation, Canada’s first constitutional document, was ratified at the 1764 Treaty at Niagara. Because successive governments have promoted a particular version of Canada’s history – a fiction of two founding nations – the broader Canadian public is unaware of the significant role Indigenous Nations held in Canada’s creation.

To guarantee the successful ratification of the Proclamation, assure a clear understanding, and codify the historic event at Niagara, British representative William Johnson relied on the Indigenous governance practice known as wampum diplomacy. He presented two Wampum Belts to the Anishinaabeg: The British and Western Great Lakes Covenant Chain Confederacy Wampum Belt and The Twenty Four Nations Wampum Belt. The former Belt codified a relationship between equal allies and the latter Belt represented the Indigenous Nations that participated in the Treaty. In turn, Indigenous Nations presented Johnson with a Two Row Wampum Belt.

Through Lynn Gehl’s doctoral work on the Algonquin land claims process she created new editions of these Wampum Belts and accepted the responsibility of creating a contemporary Wampum bundle. It is this bundle that she opens and reads in a traditional way via the oral tradition explaining the events at Niagara. In this way she contributes to the resurgence of Indigenous knowledge.

During this event, Lynn Gehl will be selling two of her books. Proceeds from this book go to supporting her ongoing work.

On Sale:

Mkadengwe: Sharing Canada’s Colonial Process through Black Face
Methodology ($17.95)

The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin on the Algonquin Land Claims
Process ($22.95)


Lynn will also be speaking on the night before at IPSMO’s 4th Annual
Celebrating the Defense of Mother Earth –

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