As a part of my de-colonial and Indigenous reclamation work in my artistic practice, I worked in relationship with Daryl Cloran and the The Citadel Theatre and Ashlie Corcoran and the Arts Club Theatre Company to create and sign a treaty to support the work of my next play Break Horizons.
As an act of knowledge sharing and in servitude of the community, we would like to make the treaty accessible to the public. We make this offer to the community as an opportunity for your organization to think about engaging with de-colonial practices with your work and with your artists.
With this offer I will state this, Canada as a Nation state has a dishonourable history of not upholding treaties with the Indigenous peoples of this land. Do not engage with any treaty work lightly, without due diligence and without the capacity of Indigenous knowledge for creating and upholding protocols.
This treaty was built on relationships rooted in trust, respect and love with accountability and reflective measures embedded into our journey.
If you're unsure you're able to uphold one, then do not create one. I will not be creating a treaty for all of my work because I'm humbled by the scope and power of what it means to sign one. I will always be working towards finding ways to Indigenize my work and look forward to sharing with you those in the near future.
The partners would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the 70+ people who came to bear witness to the signing ceremony. This is work with and for the community.
We are honoured to share with you:
A Living Treaty Agreement Between an Indigenous Artist and Settler Allies.
This agreement is made on May 18, 2018 between artist Kim Senklip Harvey of the Syilx, Ktunaxa, Tsilhqot’in and Dakehl Nations; and the Arts Club Theatre located on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh & Tsleil-Waututh Nations; and the Citadel Theatre on Treaty 6 Territory of the ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ Nēhiyawēwin and the Tsuu T'ina Nations regarding the trading of knowledge and story creation/commissioning of the Indigenous Theatre project, Break Horizons.
As of March 12, 2018 Kim Senklip Harvey has laid medicine (sage and sweetgrass) , in an act of gratitude and to ask the ancestors for help to do good work as the journey has begun. She has also begun to include this project in her smudging ceremonies.
At first availability, a talking circle shall be called to set this treaty’s intentions to the community. Participants of this agreement shall be leaders from the organizations cited on this document, who are respected community members. At least 3 official witnesses shall be present, one to represent each institution and artist, and they will bear acknowledgement to the proceedings. A feast will follow to celebrate and signal the completion of the ceremony and beginning of this journey.
Upon the completion of the talking circle Artist Kim Senklip will consult with Elders and cultural advisors to set a plan to ensure her wellness and spiritual safety as she embarks on this journey. Examples of the form this consultation may take are: the building of a traditional sweat; deep thinking journeys on traditional territories; and community feasts. The Elders and Cultural Consultant advisors may receive honorariums. Resources for this consultation will be provided by the commissioning parties, up to (monetary amount) total.
Indigenous Approach and Methodology
This journey is held within the value system of the Right Relations Agreement where the 7 teachings of trust, humility, respect, courage, wisdom, honesty and love are centered. As all parties step into this relationship, we agree to uphold our intent to adamantly conduct the journey using the Right Relations teachings to govern our decision-making and approach to execution, and to take account of, and responsibility for, this project’s impact on the community at large.
As this is a new method Kim Senklip is exploring and creating, we will work as partners to be responsive to the needs of this method, in service to the work.
At this stage the Indigenous method needs the following:
the understanding that this is an Indigenous Matriarchal story and, with that, needs Indigenous matriarchal-centered decision-makers.
spaces in the institutions to smudge.
an Indigenous dramaturge. If an Indigenous dramaturge is not available, then an Indigenous dramaturge mentor will be required - compensation to be negotiated by dramaturge and commissioning institutions.
community gatherings with other Indigenous matriarchs and Elders to share best practices. Resources for these gatherings are dependent on their location but shall not exceed a budget of (insert monetary amount), including travel and accommodation.
Post-Colonial Contact Storytelling Support
This agreement acknowledges that Indigenous story creation has existed independently for thousands of years but now exists within perpetual intersections with contemporary Canadian theatre because of colonization. The commission exchanges between the colonial institutions and Indigenous artist will be based on traditional Indigenous trade values dating to pre-contact.
At this stage the knowledge exchanges are the following:
The institutions will provide research aid on cultural protocols and on factual elements of the story, and will help to make contact with experts in the fields.
Institutional leadership will provide mentorship and learning opportunities with regards to
artist Kim Senklip’s development as a playwright and director.
Institutions will provide invitations to artist Kim Senklip to knowledge-sharing opportunities with other projects, including but not limited to: sitting in on other play development workshops, attending season presentations, and participating in cultural knowledge exchanges.
Kim Senklip will provide consultations and act as a resource for the institutions with regards to any areas within which the leaders of the commissioning institutions ask for assistance.
At this stage the goods and exchanges commission looks like the following:
travel and dwelling will be covered by the commissioning institutions for trips to Treaty 6
ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ Nēhiyawēwin and the Tsuu T'ina Nations to visit a Wellness Centre. The length of time will be dependent on artist and institutional assessment of when ethical and meaningful engagement has been reached. The total cost of all trips will not exceed (insert monetary amount)
After the completion of the talking circle ceremony (monetary amount) will be traded to artist Kim Senklip Harvey in exchange for the story idea and information on cultural protocols. Through this trade the space will be secured for her to begin research and development on Break Horizons.
After the completion of the synopsis, story development and character development by the second third of autumn of this year (November 1, 2018), artist Kim Senklip Harvey will be exchanged (monetary amount) by the commissioning institutions.
After the completion and exchange of the first draft of Break Horizons, set to be completed by the first day of spring next year (March 20, 2019) (monetary amount) will be exchanged to artist Kim Senklip Harvey by the commissioning institutions.
After the exchange of the first draft, an initial 1 or 2 day workshop will be held before summer solstice (June 21, 2019) to advance the creation of Break Horizon
This agreement shall be reviewed and renewed on summer solstice (June 21) of 2019. If at that meeting everyone involved chooses to continue to move the project forward, the treaty will proceed as follows:
After the completion and exchange of the second draft of Break Horizons on the first day of fall (September 22, 2019) (monetary amount) will be exchanged to artist Kim by the commissioning institutions.
When the rehearsal draft is complete, it will be exchanged by artist Kim Senklip Harvey for (monetary amount) from the commissioning institutions. Kim will continue to be available for rewrites through the rehearsal process.
If either or both of the companies choose to produce this project with a minimum of 21 performances, then they will have right of first refusal on subsequent productions and tours of the script within Canada for a period of two years from the date of first performance.
With the understanding that no journey occurs without challenges, this agreement is a declaration to one another and the community of our intent to create new relationships between Indigenous and Canadian theatre and community, focused on equity, safety, inclusion, excellence, peace and creating the space to be humbled by our mistakes and courageous with our work.
Limelet, Sechanalyagh, Thank You,
Artistic Director, Arts Club Theatre
Artistic Director, Citadel Theatre
Kim Senklip Harvey
Independent Indigenous Artist