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Polishing the Chain

Polishing the Chain

Talking Treaties

Principal Investigator: Martha Stiegman.

Funding: SSHRC Connection Grant.

Term: 2020-2023.

This is a knowledge translation project that leverages the research of the Indigenous-led Talking Treaties community arts project to instigate, amplify, and enrich public discussion on our treaty responsibilities as settler and Indigenous residents of Tkaron:to. The overarching goal is to activate along-neglected treaty obligation to "polish the Covenant Chain" (an Indigenous metaphor for renewing treaty relationships) by helping Torontonians learn the history of their agreements with Indigenous peoples and with the Land, an important first step towards rectifying and renewing these relationships in the present and for the future. Toronto is a diverse city located on the traditional territory of multiple Indigenous nations and subject to several historic treaties and modern land claims that are understood in sometimes conflicting ways. The project focuses on the historical significance and contemporary relevance of three key intercultural agreements that underpin relations in Toronto today: the Covenant Chain/1764 Treaty of Niagara, the Dish with One Spoon, and the so-called Toronto Purchase of 1787/1805.