Tanya Lukin Linklater

Linklater_The Treaty is in the Body

Tanya Lukin Linklater, The treaty is in the body, 2017

The body is a way to know—a way to transmit knowledge. In her practice, Lukin Linklater works with dancers to transmit ideas, which, though invisible, our bodies respond to. This project arose out of the artist’s research into treaty, catalyzed by Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike in Ottawa, a 44-day political action in 2012 and 2013. The artist recalls signs held at rallies during Idle No More: “We are all treaty people” and “Moosehide tanners against fascism”. This video takes up Indigenous understandings of treaty relationships which are at the foundation of Canada. It calls for non-Indigenous audiences to consider their implication within treaty.

The treaty is in the body was a commission for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2017, curated by Clara Halpern for Calculating Upon the Unforseen. This video is situated within the artist’s larger practice investigating treaty through performance, text, installation and video. A sister video was commissioned by Winnipeg Art Gallery for INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE in 2017.

Performances by Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Sassa Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and Keisha Stone. Camera/Sound: Neven Lochhead. Photographic credit: Liz Lott.


Tanya Lukin Linklater’s performances in museums, videos, and installations have been exhibited in Canada and abroad. Her work centres Indigenous knowledge production in and through orality, conversation and embodied practices, including dance. She considers That which sustains us a conceptual line within her work, alongside histories and structural violences that Indigenous peoples continue to respond to.

Her work has been exhibited and performed at EFA Project Space + Performa, New York City, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Museum of Contemporary Art Santiago, Chilé, Western Front, Vancouver, Images Festival + Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Art Museum, Toronto, and elsewhere.

In 2017, as a member of Wood Land School, she participated in Kahatenhstánion tsi na’tetiatere ne Iotohrkó:wa tánon Iotohrha / Drawing Lines from January to December in Montréal. Wood Land School participated in Under the Mango Tree – Sites of Learning, a gathering for documenta14 in Kassel. In 2017 Tanya was the inaugural artist in residence at All My Relations Arts in Minneapolis, USA. She was also artist in residence at Art Gallery of Ontario where she made a performance, Sun Force, in response to Rita Letendre’s retrospective, Fire & Light.

She originates from the Native Villages of Afognak and Port Lions in southern Alaska and is based in northern Ontario, Canada. http://tanyalukinlinklater.com/


Cold Cuts Video Festival 2018