Talking Treaties

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Talking Treaties is a participatory multi-arts project, with the goal of artfully sharing local Indigenous knowledge and awareness. Launched in Spring 2015, the project culminated in the Talking Treaties Spectacle, presented at Toronto’s Historic Fort York in June 2017, as part of their Indigenous Arts Festival and Jumblies’ Touching Ground Festival of new works.

In the research and development phase, we engaged over 300 participants in generating symbols, poetry, and improvised response maps and performances, which informed and were featured as content in the production. Talking Treaties Workshops and Presentations (PDF Link) are available to book now: “Mapping, Text, and Symbol Making” and “Quick Creation”, along with the “Community and History” presentation and “Teritorial Delicacy” solo performance.

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In 2017, Talking Treaties moved into a production phase, bringing together the wealth of knowledge  gathered into a large-scale immersive theatrical spectacle, featuring professional and community performers. Production arts workshops saw community hand sewing, gluing, braiding lost rivers, roots, kettles, pennants, and beavers, all held at Ground Floor drop ins. Community dance workshops brought together individuals from across the city into relation and in conversation with ideas of acknowledgement and protection.

Talking Treaties is created and directed by Ange Loft, in collaboration with historian and co-writer, Victoria Freeman, along with many other artists and contributors, and in partnership with First Story Toronto and others.

The Talking Treaties Spectacle was followed by the premier performance of “Under the Concrete”, a choral reflection of the same themes, composed by Martin van de Ven, with original songs by Rosary Spence.

Following the June 2017 production, Talking Treaties enters a phase of legacy, which will involve ongoing workshops and presentations, designing multi-media Talking Treaties resources and remounting of the full production in October 2018.

Media Links

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

If you’re interested in following, supporting or taking part in the next phase of Talking Treaties, please contact us at

Talking Treaties Artist Team

Ange Loft: Lead Artist, Director, Co-Writer, Audio Artist
Victoria Freeman: Historical Researcher, Interviewer, 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 Foot: 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..


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