We acknowledge that Ka’tarohkwi (“a place where there is clay” or “a place where there is limestone”) is situated within the territories of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, and Huron-Wendat, and is home to many members of the Metis nation. We know of the former Haudenosaunee village; the longhouses were depicted by the French military in 1720, who were surveying the land at what is now the site of Fort Frontenac.
Referred to in Treaty 57 as land acquired in the 1783 Crawford purchase, “Kingston” is a complex place, its histories deeply entangled. Situated at the mouths of many rivers and lakes, including Lake Ontario, makes these territories subject to the Dish with One Spoon Wampum, a covenant between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Three Fires Confederacy (Ojibwe, Odawa, and Pottawatomie), and other allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources in and around the Great Lakes. Ka’tarohkwi was—and still is—a place of passage and of gathering. And while some of Kingston’s troubling colonial history—as, for instance, the first capital of the Dominion of Canada—may still be stuck in its built structures, we like to think of culture here as unbounded, flowing through Kingston, like its many rivers and waterways; full of energy like the limestone that underpins so much of its landscape. It is by following this flow and energy that we hope Agnes finds its institutional commitments, that our programming is connected to the land on which we are situated, and that our work here creates the possibilities to collectively imagine new futurities. —Agnes Staff