Theater plays depicting Métis and Indigenous stories will take center stage in Lakeland

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Over the next few weeks, two plays “Tu m’appelais Marie…” and “Dancing under the 13 moons” created and featuring the stories of Aboriginal and Métis artists will be performed on stages in Lakeland, Kikino in St. Paul and Bonnyville.

LAKELAND – In late July and early August, tales starring and written by Métis and Indigenous playwrights will take place on several stages in the Land of the Lakes.

The play ‘You used to call me Marie…’ written by Tai Amy Grauman, will return to Lakeland as a full production.

The music and dance production ‘Dancing under the 13 moons’ is also on stage, presented by the Kehewin Native Dance Theater (KNDT) and performed by local youth participating in a summer training program.

“You called me Mary…”

Grauman’s play follows two souls through eight mixed-race love stories at eight distinct periods in history.

Moving through time and different lives, the audience watches the main characters, Iskwewo, Napew and Mistatim, experience life and relationships before and after Treaty 6 colonization.

To the sound of the violin, the scenario encompasses the rise of the Métis nations of the plains, the effects of colonization and the ripples from the past to the present day.

The play also features real-life connections to the Alberta playwright’s own family — “the Callihoo women’s stories of love, their fight for their people, and their resilient sovereignty as Métis women,” reads the biography. of the room.

Grauman’s play is currently touring across Alberta with stops at Métis Crossing in Smoky Lake on July 27, 28 and 29. She will then travel to Kikino on July 30, before stopping at Bonnyville on August 3, St. Paul on August 4 and Fishing Lake from August 6-7.

Admission to performances is free. The production time is around 50-60 minutes.

The St. Paul performance of “Tu m’appelais Marie…” will take place outside the Center culturel francophone de St. Paul des Métis, weather permitting. The show will move inside the Center if deemed necessary.

A performance time has yet to be confirmed, but curtain time will likely be at 7 p.m., according to Sherri Sadler, Savage Society’s marketing and communications coordinator.

Savage Society is a Vancouver-based theater production company that supports Grauman’s work.

Savage Society produces and promotes several productions each year that tell Indigenous stories based on myth, tradition and contemporary Indigenous perspective. The society was established in 2004 to enable members to produce their own stories as Indigenous theater and film artists.

Performances in Bonnyville

In Bonnyville, the play will take place at 7 p.m. at Saint-Louis parish. The Church donated the venue for the show to host organizers, Lakeland Society for Truth and Reconciliation.

The base society volunteered to host both Bonnyville’s performance of “Tu m’appelais Marie…” and “Danser sous les 13 lunes”.

Their efforts included coordinating funding, venue and volunteers to be able to host both productions locally.

“All of our events, our goal is to make them free to the public. So that means we’re going to have to make sure that all of our expenses are covered,” said Corita Vachon, a member of the Lakeland Society for Truth and Reconciliation. lakeland this week.

With support from the Town of Bonnyville and the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 2, the Lakeland Society for Truth and Reconciliation was able to raise $1,000 to bring the Savage Society production to the community at no cost to attendees.

Now the group is looking for volunteers to help greet people and distribute refreshments and light snacks on the day of the event.

“Last year, our grassroots movement began tracking unmarked grave finds through radar penetration into residential school sites, and it again stirred up a lot of emotion. (There are) a lot of people who want to help and who don’t know how to go about it,” says Vachon.

Acting out the stories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples is a way to educate, heal and begin the necessary steps of reconciliation, she says.

“I know that much of the healing has to happen among the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who have been directly affected. But there are other ways the rest of society can help, and one of the areas is educating themselves with the culture,” she says.

“Both of these theatrical events will immerse you in cultures and the “Dance Under the 13 Moons”, for example, will immerse you in stories centered around the teachings of the teepee and the teachings of heaven through dance and movement.”

“Dancing under the 13 moons”

The local production of ‘Dancing under the 13 moons’ features five local youngsters who spent the summer in a training program offered by KNDT.

The performance will take place at École Notre Dame High School on July 28 at 7 p.m.

Admission to the one-hour performance is free.

Performers include Charles Cardinal, Garret Cardinal, Sekoya Weaselhead-Kehewin, Kimowan Weaselhead-Kehewin, and Elizabeth Tucker.

The five dancers came to the program with little dance experience, but wanted to learn more about their culture and traditional dance, says Rosa John, artistic director of KNDT.

“(The) Indigenous youth are weaving a web of oral histories and ancient knowledge, which will leave audiences filled with joy and wonder,” read a statement provided on John’s behalf.

This will be the 12th year of the KNDT program, which includes powwow, contemporary dance and hoop training.

Anyone interested in volunteering with the Lakeland Society for Truth and Reconciliation can contact them through their Facebook page or email [email protected]

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