Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way Vancouver, Penticton, Toronto, Winnipeg

Cast and Crews
Cast, writers, directors, designers, producers — the whole crew of WROW

Last Thursday night the long-awaited production of Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way, a play co-written by Renae Morrisear\, Rosemary Georgeson and Savannah Walling and directed by Morriseau opened at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre in East Vancouver/Coast Salish Territories to a circle bursting with friends and guests.

The play cum multi-media performances including  storytelling, traditional and personal songs as well as drumming and games–one game in particular Slahal–features some of the finest actors from various parts of British Columbia and across the county.

Stephen Lytton, Sophie Merasty, Jonathan Fisher and Sam Bob join Delhia Nahanee, Latash Maurice Nahanee, Tai Amy Grauman, Tracey Nepinak Vern Bevis and Tania Carter in sharing  life experiences and and the stories of how one Indigenous family’s healing process defines reconciliation.

Its not what some might expect if people are looking at the play to shed light on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s proposals about reconciling between First Nations and Canada.  Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way  (WROW)is deep and its personal. it is more about how one Indigenous family’s healing process defines reconciliation

Morisseau says this about reconciliation “As Indigenous people we have been ‘reconciling’ for a long time within our own communities and in our families. We are living with the impact that Canadian policy and legislation has had on us. It’s generational and continues today.”

And (WROW is funny.  As with many communities, sometimes you just had to be part of it to get the humour but the uproar at various parts of the play hit the heart and the funny bone of every single person in the house.

Sam Bob Slahal

And audiences in every performance since opening night have been raving.

 Here are just a few early responses: 

Amazing, amazing AMAZING.  So SO powerful.
I felt lucky to be in the room.”

Excited to experience indigeneity in this way. Please keep up the amazing work. THIS IS CANADIAN HISTORY.”

Thank you so much for this beautiful, humorous, tragic, hopeful tapestry.

Watching the play, I believed that each story represented the lived experience of each actor. The sharing of the stories, intertwined with other stories, intertwined with past injustices, intertwined with other injustices, give light to the complexities of the process of reconciliation with Indigenous families.

Awesome play. Funny, sad – the actors are great!”

The show continues in Vancouver until May 26 with performances at 7:30 each of May 24 and 25 and one performance at 2:00 pm on May 26.

Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way travels to:

Penticton/Sylix Territory  for a performance on Thursday May 31 at 7:00 pm and a Friday matinee at 12:30 pm at the En’owken Centre

Toronto/Treaty 13 on June 6-9 Wednesday through Friday 7:30 pm and Saturday manatee at 2:00 pm Aki Studio Theatre

Winnipeg/Treaty 1 and Metis Homelands June 13 -16 Wednesday through Friday 7:30 pm and Saturday matinee 2:00 pm Theatre Circle Molière

 

Don’t mss Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way!

Tomorrow i’ll post another piece on Les Filles du Roi  (the King’s Daughters) an extraordinary musical/drama about the 800 women famously sent from France to “populate” the New World between 1663 and 1673.  Staging, music and story extraordinaire.

 

Environmental Justice As Liberation: No Consent, No Pipeline, No Kinder Morgan

The headline above is for a piece posted by 

As someone whose SFU Masters Thesis focused on the importance of creativity in resistance I find it exciting and hopeful to see the  Carnival playing out right here, in British Columbia. People’s resistance taking place in so many venues — Indigenous rights and consent, housing affordability and availability throughout the province, pipelines, fracking, massive hydro power dams, fish farms and more.  British Columbians and Canadians right across the country are speaking up and doing so with creativity.

In the Lower Mainland of British Columbia the battle to stop the Kinder Morgan Pipeline is heating up.  This piece by Sarah Beuhler gives an excellent overview of the strategy involved in mobilizing and fighting this project.

Stop KM
Burnaby Mountain, April, 2018

Against the power of governments who were falsely elected on the basis of new, community driven strategies with collusion from corporate driven mainstream media,  the Kinder Morgan pipeline battle in BC, as well as the Fight against Site C and ocean-based fish farms and fracking are  examples of  mobilizations  to protect land and water and the beings who depend on them. They are led by Indigenous leaders from the BC Union of Indian Chiefs to hundreds of small communities whose lives and livelihoods are historically and legally tied to the unceded territories. And settlers are following — finally.

Across Canada, in North and South America and throughout the colonized world, Indigenous Communities are fighting back with vigour and great creativity and are being joined by thousands, millions of settler communities who have learned to respect and understand that without the full and prior consent of the Indigenous in traditional territories , the land’s truth keepers —  sustainable progress will not ensue.

Sarah’s piece invites the public to understand the story of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline currently in an expansion mode that could increase the flow of Bitumen by 7 times what is currently transported via pipeline from Alberta.

It would then be loaded onto huge tankers 7 per week and carted off to who knows where.  Bitumen is described in Cambridge English dictionary as  “a black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation. It is used for road surfacing and roofing.” Thin that out for easy flow with toxic chemicals and imagine what is travelling through the mountains across the lands, under the rivers and under the inlet and could increase to the point of danger.

Sarah’s Coast Protector story is the full story of the project and the strategies that have been developed, used, set aside and re-considered.

I hope you find it as instructive as I did.  As for the Carnival, think of the massive strategically organized resistance against the Dakota Pipeline, of the thousands of actions organized by Indigenous people against Canadian and other mining companies in their territories and the demands to stop massive dams, stop polluting rivers, stop exploiting for profit without thought of human survival. Think of all the tiny houses being built along the Trans Mountain Pipeline route, think of the years and years of protests ongoing against the Site C Dam. The songs, performances, cyber actions,  public arrests, the displays of respectful resistance are all marks of the carnival.

In my brief look at carnival I examined resistance against a backdrop of social and political movements whose histories were linked to the carnival through their disdain for power from above and their creative means of subverting that power.

At Kinder Morgan, Site C and throughout the world of resistance, let the carnival continue with thanks.

 

THE SOUTH LAWN (click here to read Sarah’s piece) 

Watchouse
The Watch House

 

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