A treaty is a contract. A treaty is enduring. A treaty is an act of faith. A treaty at its best is justice. It is a document and an undertaking. It is connected to place, people and self. It is built on the past, but it also indicates how the future may unfold. Armand Garnet Ruffo's TREATY # is all of these. In this far-ranging work, Ruffo documents his observations on life &ndash and in the process, his own life &ndash as he sets out to restructure relationships and address obligations nation-to-nation, human to human, human to nature. Now, he undertakes a new phase in its restoration. He has written his TREATY # like a palimpsest over past representations of Indigenous bodies and beliefs, built powerful connections to his predecessors, and discovered new ways to bear witness and build a place for them, and all of us, in his poems. This is a major new work from an important, original voice.
Armand Garnet Ruffo's Ojibwe relations were signatories to the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. His great-great-grandfather lobbied for inclusion of those left out of treaty in 1905 when the Government of Canada's economic policies were causing starvation amongst his people. Ruffo's publications include Introduction to Indigenous Literary Criticism in Canada (Broadview, 2015), The Thunderbird Poems (Harbour, 2015) and Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing Into Thunderbird (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014), a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-fiction. He is currently the Queen's National Scholar in Indigenous Literature at Queen's University in Kingston.
"Ruffo's Treaty # relentlessly underscores the horrors that a lax and empty use of verbiage can produce." - Catherine Owen, Marrow Reviews