A photograph of grassy land meeting the Pacific Ocean with mountains in the distance.

Learn about the Anson Dart Treaties of 1851 in this interactive video installation.

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Surrey Art Gallery - 13750 88 Ave

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This video installation consists of two projections that overlap to create a single image of the landscape surrounding Tansy Point located near the mouth of the Columbia River where it empties into the Pacific Ocean. It was here in present-day Oregon that the Anson Dart Treaties were signed in 1851 between the Indigenous Chinook peoples and the US government. These agreements were never ratified by Congress even though the federally defined land and rights of the Chinook were subsequently taken away.

A voiceover in Chinook Jargon—the trade language common along the West Coast in the nineteenth century and used for the negotiations—recounts two perspectives on the impact of the treaties. One is by James Swan, an early white settler who witnessed failed attempts at treaty making, and the other by Tony Johnson, Chair of the Chinook Nation who speaks about the impact of the contract honoured by his people but disregarded by the government. When a viewer walks in front of the projections, their shadow reveals an English translation of the text. To this day, the Chinook people are still fighting for recognition.

Join Henry Tsang and curator Jordan Strom for an exhibition tour on November 26.

Curator: Jordan Strom
Origin of Exhibition: Portland Art Museum