Talking Treaties

Talking Treaties is a multi-year project that artfully shares local Indigenous history and awareness. It is created and directed by Lead Artist Ange Loft, with historian Victoria Freeman and numerous other artists, partners, community members and other contributors. 

In 2017 and 2018, Talking Treaties was presented as a mobile spectacle at Historic Fort York, with an all-Indigenous professional cast, and engaging diverse community singers and performers.

In Fall 2019, Talking Treaties was featured as a multi-media installation at the Small Arms Inspection Building for the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art. This installation, entitled By These Presents: 'Purchasing' Toronto, included 3 short films, props and artifacts from the Talking Treaties Spectacle and interactive activities.

In 2020 and beyond, Talking Treaties continues, under the leadership of Ange Loft, into a new phase, involving new research and interviews, workshops, dissemination of its films and resources and new partnerships. It will see a dance performance at Fort York's Indigenous Arts Festival in June 2021, and be featured again at the second Toronto Biennial of Art in Fall 2021.

Contact us if you're interested in getting involved or requesting a workshop or presentation:
Ashley Riley in scene from Talking Treaties film, August 2019

Media Links


A New Kind of Land Acknowledgement – canadianart


The Whole Note Concert Report: At Fort York, Talking Treaties energizes and engages

Mooney on Theatre review of Talking Treaties Spectacle

Inside Looking In review of Talking Treaties Spectacle

My Entertainment World review of Treaties Spectacle at Fort York

Ontario Presents Spotlight On: Ange Loft


Talking Treaties in Canadian Art Magazine

Mooney on Theatre review of Talking Treaties Spectacle

New Canadian Life radio interview with Ange Loft

Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation “Indigenous Voices on Treaties” interview with Ange Loft


2018 Talking Treaties Spectacle Team

Full page credits in smaller PDF’s that can be enlarged if you click on them

Ange Loft: Lead Artist, Co-writer, Designer, Director
Victoria Freeman: Historian & Co-writer
Melody McKiver: Composer
Alaska B: Composer
Rosary Spence: Composer
Brandon Valdivia: Composer
Arie van de Ven Verheul: Composer
Sonja Rainey: Puppet, Prop & Scenic Designer
Marianne Alas: Costume Designer & Maker
Kaia’tanoron Dumoulin: Banner Artwork
Alice Norton: Wigs
Turtle Quilt: Designed by Philip Cote & Rhonda Lucy & sewn, embroidered and beaded by Marianne Alas with the participation of many other hands.

Cast for October 2018 Performance:
Jill Carter: Actor (Molly Brant)
Jesse Wabegijig: Actor (William Brant)
Brendan Austin: Actor (City People)
Jamie Oshkabewisens: Actor (City People)
Pesch Nepoose: Actor (City People)
Ashley Riley: Actor (City People)
Kitsuné Soleil: Actor (City People)
Candy Blair: Actor (Beaver)
Theresa Cutknife: Actor (Britannia)

Community Performance Troupe:
Lisa Amerongen, Simon Black, Margaret Bojin, Jenn Boulay, Em Farquhar-Barrie, Amber Cordick, Ken Harrower, Rimah Jabr, Isabella Lyne, Janis Proctor, Melissa Burgess, Lily Rovillos, Marlene Sheehan-Carey, Bernadette Shuman, Natalija Spasic, Tijana Spasic, Jordan Tzouhas, Gehan Udayanga, Herold van de Ven

Daev Clysdale, Alejandra Nunez, Arie van de Ven Verheul

The Gather Round Singers:
Director: Shifra Cooper
Accompanist: Daev Clysdale
Singers: Rakefet Arieli ,Simon Black, Margaret Bojin, Jenn Boulay, Melissa Burgess, Vivian Chong, Sam Egan, Kaia’tanoron Dumoulin, Jon Field, Cindy Yucong Kant, Ken Harrower, Harshi Hemachandra, Mika Howard, Ruth Howard, Hodan Ibrahim, Sandra Kanagasabai, Erin Yilian Kang, Shelley La Hay, Sajeda Manzoor, Adrienne Marcus Raja, Daphne Morgan, Mario Pietrantoni, Janis Proctor, Vivian Quing Wei, Reese de Rege, Ashley Riley, Lily Rovillos, Liz Rucker, Shifra Saltzman, Marlene Sheehan-Carey, Bernadette Shuman, Tijana Spasic, Tasmeen Syed, Julia Tribe, Gehan Udayanga, Herold van de Ven

Production Team
Producer: Rachel Penny
Production Stage Manager: Sasha Tate-Howarth
Technical Director: Steafan Hannigan
Assistant Stage Manager: Iehente Foote
Outreach Coordinator & Directing Assistant: Tijana Spasic
Technical Assistant: Lochlan Cox
Production Assistants: Isabella Lyne, Julia Vodarek Hunter
Accessibility Team: Liz Rucker, Michael Burtt, Julia Tribe, Mika Howard,
Shifra Saltzman
Graphic Design & Media Artist: Adrienne Marcus Raja
Food Coordinator: Marianne Alas
Publicity: Damien Nelson, Want & Able Arts Consulting
Documentation: Adrienne Marcus Raja, Mark Fawcett
Production Mentor: Ruth Howard


2017 Talking Treaties Spectacle Original Artist Team

Ange Loft: Lead Artist, Director, Co-Writer
Victoria Freeman: Historical Researcher, Co-Writer
Jill Carter: Researcher and Actor
Lilia Leon: Choreographer, Interviewer
Brian Solomon: Choreographer
Melody McKiver: Composer, Musician (viola)
Rosary Spence: Songwriter
Brian Valdivia: Composer
Johnny Spence: Musician (accordion), Composer
Marianne Alas: Costume Designer/Coordinator
Sonja Rainey: Set and Props Designer
Parker Dirks: Assistant Designer
Julia Hune Brown: Dance Coordinator, Interviewer
Kelly King: Research & Making Assistant
Jesse Wabegijig: Actor
Kitsune Soleil: Actor
Ashley Riley: Actor
Rosina Kazi: Actor, Interviewer, Audio Artist
Candy Blair: Actor
Tomas Cavalheiro-Chin: Actor
Nikki Shaffeellah: Actor
Karis Jones Pard: Actor
Jackie Omstead: Community Programming Coordinator
Sasha Tate Howarth: Production Stage Manager
Steafan Hannigan: Technical Director
Iehente Foote: Assistant Stage Manager
Alaska B: Audio Engineer, Audio Artist
Adrienne Marcus Raja: Documenter, Audio Artist
Liam Coo: Photographer
Sofia Bohdanowicz: Videographer
Mindy Stricke: Interviewer
and many other artists and community members..

Contributing Groups:

Black Creek Pioneer Village, Centre for Indigenous Theatre, First Story Toronto, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, York University, Glendon College, George Brown College, Evergreen Brick Works, The AMY Project, Train of Thought Toronto and Kingston, Children’s Peace Theatre, Neighbourhood Arts Network, SKETCH’s Courage Lab, Tities Wîcinímintôwak/Bluejays Dancing Together Arts Collective, OASIS Alternative School, Osgoode Law School, OCADU, participants at The Ground Floor and in Artfare Essentials, and others.


First Story Toronto, Historic Fort York, Nagamo Collective, Children’s Peace Theatre, Lost Rivers and others.

Special acknowledgement to the knowledgeable individuals who contributed original interviews and historical research: Keith Jamieson, Carolyn King, Hayden King, Max King, Bryan Laforme, Stacey Laforme, Bonita Lawrence, Lee Maracle, David Miller, Duke Redbird, Ed Sackanay, Garry Sault, Margaret Sault, Zachary Smith, Rebeka Tabobodung, Jessie Thistle, Nathan Tidridge, Andrew Wesley, Darin Wybenga


Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario 150, Toronto Foundation, Metcalf Foundation, J.P. Bickell Foundation, InSpirit Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation, First Story, Historic Fort York