Treaty Canoe

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Source Publication

International Law's Objects by Jessie Hohmann and Daniel Joyce (eds.), Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 491-503


'Treaty Canoe' is an admittedly complex object to select for the present collection. As an artwork which is an assembly of made and found objects as well as a performance (in its making), its meaning is both layered and evolving. And yet, its evocation of both the promise and peril of international law in colonial North America is unmistakable. In 'Treaty Canoe', 'document, object, and location cohere to scrutinize the logics of colonialism, sovereignty and the question of responsibility that inheres in both'. As a collection of objects both art and law, tool and text, past and present, 'Treaty Canoe' offers both an important recognition of the violence and erasure at the foundation of the colonial project in Canada as well as an invitation to participate in a de-colonial 'rewriting' of these histories.


Distributed with permission of the copyright holder.