ENGL 585 A1: Land Relations

C. Stewart

In this course, we ask if a more holistic encounter with the land and its stories could lead to a greater understanding of Treaty 6, and Métis land agreements in Region #4. By going out onto the land* where important land negotiations have taken place, and by listening to Elders, knowledge keepers and ceremonial peoples' stories of the true spirit and intent of treaty -founded on principles of reciprocity and responsible relations-we seek to develop inspired relationships with this place. In part, it is our intention to consider if encounters with the land and its stories would help the university community to stay committed to the Truth and Reconciliation Conciliation Calls to Action and bring weight and fulfillment to our official territorial acknowledgements. From the growing practice of treaty and territory acknowledgements at our university and universities across Canada to growing assertions by Indigenous legal scholars of the importance of treaty (see John Borrows, Sylvia McAdams, Sharon Venne, Adam Gaudry), to the specific calls of the Canada's TRC to learn about treaties in Canada, it is clear that more education is necessary. In this course we will consider how to honour the histories of the land on which we live, and to imagine the ways in which we can stay alive to the sense of obligation many of us have only begun to consider.

*The availability of funding will determine the extent of our field trips. 


Provisional Reading List

Borrows, John. "Wampum at Niagara." Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada, ed. Michael Asch. 2008.

Selected readings-Asch, Michael, John Borrows and James Tully. Resurgence and Reconciliation: Indigenous-Settler Relations and Earth Teachings. 2018

Selected readings-Borrows, John and Michael Coyle editors. The Right Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties. 2017 


Gaudry, Adam. "Are the Métis Treaty People." (online lecture) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU8b5QFB53g  


Kâ-Nîpitêhtêw, Jim. ana kâ-pimwêwêhahk okakêskihkêmowina: The Counselling Speeches of Jim Kâ-Nîpitêhtêw, eds. Freda Ahenakew & H.C. Wolfart. 1998.


Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, Heidi. "Criminal Empire: The Making of the Savage in a Lawless Land."Theory and Event. Vol 19, Issue 4. 2016 


Lightning, Walter. "Compassionate Mind, Implications of a Text Written by Elder Louis Sunchild." MA Thesis. University of Alberta. 1992 


McAdam, Sylvia. Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems. 2015 


Venne, Sharon. "Treaties in Good Faith." Natives and Settlers Now and Then, ed. Paul DePasquale. 2012 


Vowel, Chelsea. Indigenous Writes. 2018