Call for Papers: Living Treaties, Anishinaabeg Summit

Dear Editor,

The presence of the U.S./Canada Border is a fact of life for Aboriginal people. It is also a simple fact of life that Indigenous people along the border have established their relationship with both U.S. and Canadian governments through Treaty, and those treaties affect people along the border in profound ways.

As “treaty rights” are continually challenged in the courts, the courts are given opportunities to continually “re-interpret” these treaties. Thus it is important to explore these treaties and related issues in some depth. To that end, The Anishinaabeg Joint Commission (Batchewana First Nation, Bay Mills Indian Community, Garden River First Nation, and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), in cooperation with the Center for the Study of Indigenous Border Issues, is issuing a Call For Papers for the Living Treaties Anishinaabeg Summit.

The gathering will be held August 13-15, 2008, at the Sault Tribe Conference and Convention Center in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

The primary objective of this gathering is to bring together tribal elders, traditional knowledge keepers, tribal historians, college and university faculty and students, land claims researchers, government officials (U.S., Canadian, tribal), and Indigenous community members so that we can all benefit from a thorough discussion and understanding of the role that treaties play in the lives of Native peoples along the U.S./Canada border.

We are encouraging proposals from any discipline that addresses: Treaty relationships; how treaties are remembered in tribal communities; how treaties are interpreted and taught in colleges and universities; how the legal/judicial institutions have interpreted treaties, and how that interpretation may have changed over time. We also plan on giving all conference participants an opportunity to present their own views/experiences relating to our treaties. Consequently, we are hoping the conference will include the perspective of Indigenous people, U.S. and Canadian government officials, researchers, historians, teachers and students from all levels, as well as other interested parties.

Suggested topics include, but certainly are not limited to: Traditional Knowledge Keepers and Treaties, How Treaties Affects Traditional Relationships along the U.S./Canada Border, How Treaties Affect Tribal Governments in this Trans-border Region, Treaties and the Environment, How Treaties Affect the Spiritual Lives of Great Lakes Peoples, Invasive Species and their Ecological and Cultural Effects, Indigenous Community Response to Treaties that Affect Them.

Preliminary planning has identified the following as topics that will be covered: Creation Story, Proclamation of 1763, Robinson Treaties (1850), Bond Head Treaty (183?), Pennefather Treaty (1850s), Sault Ste. Marie Treaty of 1820, Washington Treaty of 1836, Detroit Treaty of 1855, the Jay Treaty, War of 1812, Treaty of Ghent, Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842, the Treaty of Niagara (1764).

This list is merely suggestive, and we welcome papers that expand this list in any way.

The organizers hope to publish a book containing a number of expanded versions of the presented papers and posters.

Proposals should be sent to Phil Bellfy (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We strongly encourage proposals from First Nations and tribal people, as well as organizations sponsored by or affiliated with them.