Armand Garnet Ruffo
112 pages | ISBN 978-1-928088-76-9
**Winner of the 2020 Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize**
**Shortlisted for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry**
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 – and in the process, his own life – 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.
Reviews | Interviews | Articles | Videos | Excerpt | About the Author
From One Treaty Person to Another: Armand Garnet Ruffo's Treaty # (Amelia Eqbal, Arc Poetry Magazine, 27/01/2021)
"Ruffo exhibits a masterful sense of control over the poetic form both through his words and his choices around how to display them. [...] Indeed, with Treaty #, Ruffo presents the reader with a different story of Canada’s founding."
Poetry Review by Dallas Hunt (Dallas Hunt, The Malahat Review, Spring 2020)
"In many ways, Ruffo's collection is a repository of the cascading set of events and processes that transpire when one is coerced, both explicitly and implicitly, to sign with an 'X' on a Treaty document."
Placing Through Poems, Play, and Stories (Michael Minor, Canadian Literature, 19/02/2020)
"Treaty # is not only about the end of the world that the treaties represent for Indigenous peoples. It also leaves the powerful impression that a return to Indigenous teachings of 'Minobimaadizwin, The Good Life' is humanity’s last best chance to avoid 'the inevitable reckoning.' Through distinct and powerful rhetoric, each of these books reveals and reckons with the crises that this place, our home, is in. They place responsibility on government and corporate greed. Moreover, they offer hope for returning to relational, reciprocal connectedness with the land. Who better than Indigenous peoples, who have already lived through the end of the world, to guide us through the many crises the world now faces?"
Cosmic Obsession Produces Vivid Verse (Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press, 28/09/2019)
"Armand Garnet Ruffo’s Treaty # . . . meditates on the concepts that underpinned the notion of a treaty, how this intersects with their brutal historical reality and poetry’s place in all this. . . . A sad, angry, brilliant and beautiful book."
Three from Buckrider Books/Wolsak & Wynn, 2019: #2 Armand Garnet Ruffo (Catherine Owen, Marrow Reviews, 10/05/2019)
"Ruffo’s Treaty # relentlessly underscores the horrors that a lax and empty use of verbiage can produce."
Episode 26: Armand Garnet Ruffo’s On the Day the World Begins Again (Catherine Owen, Ms. Lyric's Poetry Outlaws, 30/09/2022)
A wonderful interview with Armand.
A Fine Balance: Amanda Proctor in Conversation with Armand Garnet Ruffo (Amanda Proctor, The Malahat Review, 05/01/2021)
As judge for the next Malahat Long Poem Prize, Armand is interviewed about the prize and his thoughts on poetry.
Interview with Armand Garnet Ruffo, 2020 Latner WT Poetry Prize winner (Audio) (Writers Trust of Canada, 02/12/2020)
Kaie Kellough interviews Armand Garnet Ruffo about his life, his development as a writer through five poetry collections and the strong influence of his Ojibwe heritage on his work.
Poetry, Place, and Indigenous Identity (Liz Howard and Armand Ruffo, 02/01/2019)
Liz Howard in conversation with fellow poet Armand Ruffo.
The NCCIE List of Amazing Tiles to Read for Indigenous Peoples History Month. (The National Centre for Collaboration Indigenous Education, 17/06/2020)
The NCCIE lists Armand's collection as part of their list to get you started reading for Indigenous Peoples History Month.
35 books to read for National Indigenous History Month (CBC Books, 01/06/2020)
Armand's book is on the list of 35 books to read for National Indigenous History Month.
A 'best of' list of 2019 Canadian poetry books (rob mclennan, DUSIE, 01/01/2020)
Armand's collection makes rob mclennan's list of best Canadian poetry of 2019.
The best Canadian poetry of 2019 (CBC Books, 10/12/2019)
"Armand Garnet Ruffo's Treaty # is an examination of the nature and meaning of a treaty. Ruffo documents his observations of life from an Indigenous perspective, looking at belief systems and the complex, evolving connections and obligations between nation-to-nation, human-to-human and human-to-nature."
Queen's prof nominated for Governor General's Award (Pamoda Wijekoon, The Queen's University Journal, 10/10/2019)
"We are all treaty people."
Michael Crummey, Amanda Parris and Armand Garnet Ruffo among 2019 Governor General's Literary Awards finalists (CBC Books, 02/10/2019)
Armand is a finalist for the Governor General's Award for Poetry!
Summer Reading: Shane Neilson (University of Guelph College of Arts blog, 29/07/2019)
Shane Neilson recommends Armand's collection for summer reading.
11 Canadian poetry collections to check out during National Poetry Month (CBC Books, 23/04/2019)
"Ruffo documents his observations of life from an Indigenous perspective, looking at belief systems and the complex, evolving connections and obligations between nation-to-nation, human-to-human and human-to-nature."
Read Three Powerful Poems from Treaty# by Armand Garnet Ruffo (Open Book, 17/0/2019)
"Observational, wise, and diamond-sharp, the poems investigate relationships both personal and macro, from individual connections to the titular Indigenous treaties in Canada."
Four poetry books to read during the waning days of National Poetry Month (Barb Carey, the Toronto Star, 24/04/2019)
"Many of these lyrical, deeply reflective poems also "peel back memory," as Ruffo struggles to make peace with his own past. His imagery is vivid and evocative, as he sifts through childhood memories. [...] Powerful and wholehearted, these poems are musings on the poet's individual place in the world and on our communal responsibility as caretakers of the planet."
'He speaks the truth': Why Joseph A. Dandurand recommends reading TREATY# by Armand Garnet Ruffo (CBC Books, 12/04/2019)
"He speaks the truth and his style is so unique and over the years it has become as clear as any storyteller can get."
20 works of Canadian poetry to check out in spring 2019 (CBC Books, 25/01/2019)
Armand's book makes the list of works to look forward to in the spring.
2019 Spring Preview: Poetry (Steven W. Beattie, Quill & Quire, 09/01/2019)
Armand's book is listed in the Quill's Spring Preview.
Visual poem: On The Day The World Begins Again
Click here to read an excerpt from TREATY #.
About the Author
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.
Other Titles by This Author
At Geronimo's Grave (2002)
Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney, revised edition (2021)