February 12, 2021 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

The Edward Curtis Project

Discussion Questions

Pre-Production

  1. What is a stereotype? Identify both negative and positive stereotypes regarding Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. How do these stereotypes impact Aboriginal Peoples?
  1. Who are the Métis of Canada? Where does a person of mixed heritage – who is not of the Louis Riel definition – fit into the Canadian “mosaic”?
  1. How does North American society typically define success? How does this definition apply to First Nation, Métis, and Inuit traditional cultures and value systems?
  1. How can a photographer’s craft influence the impression of his/her subject material? (Can documentary ever be truly objective?)
  1. How appropriate is it for outsiders to share their interpretation of another people’s identity and culture? How is this perceived as exploitation?

Post-Production

  1. Explain the significance of the theme of Hunger and identify how it is used throughout the duration of the play.
  1. Why does Angeline closely identify with the caption of The Vanishing Indian?
  1. Identify how the playwright uses the theme of “framing” in different ways throughout the play and what the overall message implies.
  1. Why does Yiska state that “most people just want us [Native people] to disappear”? How does Curtis’ collection of photographs contribute to that notion?
  1. Angeline is offered a crucifix, a rock, and Edward Curtis’ coffee table book as different means of helping her overcome her crisis. What does each item signify, and what ultimately helps her heal? Why?

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