The Edward Curtis Project

Welcome to the study guide for The Edward Curtis Project by Marie Clements, a multi-media, dramatic exploration of Aboriginal identity from both historic and contemporary perspectives. This guide provides a synopsis of the play, followed by a background introduction to American photographer Edward Curtis, examining how this historic figure served to inspire the commissioned work of Clements’ Project with documentary photographer Rita Leistner. Along with an analysis of the characters and themes of the piece, this guide also provides curriculum connections to The Arts, English, Native Studies, and the Social Sciences and Humanities. Classroom activities include academic exercises for teachers of many disciplines to instruct their students through artistic, literary, and technological learning styles and pedagogies.

This teaching resource is intended to encourage a closer examination of a dynamic play and companion contemporary photo exhibit, exploring the complex cultural issues raised by Curtis’ work. We hope to provide students, teachers and our general audience with a deeper understanding of the world of a People who never vanished, but were set on track to be themselves redefined and, in the process, define themselves.

Study guide written by Suzanne Keeptwo.

We welcome any feedback you may have, and invite you to contact Judi Pearl, Young Company Manager, English Theatre at or 613-947-7000 ext. 537.

Special thanks to Amanda Lord, Education and Outreach Intern 2011-2012, for her contribution to the curriculum connections in this study guide.