The NAC’s Kipnes Lantern to be lit in orange, in memory of the 215 Indigenous children found at the unmarked mass grave at the Old Kamloops Residential School 

June 1, 2021 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre (NAC) is honouring the distinct perspectives and cultures of Indigenous artists throughout the month of June as part of National Indigenous History Month, including National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. 

All through June, the voices of Indigenous artists will be prominent through the numerous free performances and activities in theatre, dance and music available online. Among the free events this month will be weekly Powwow Workout Classes with Allex Wells and Steevi King; online learning workshops from Indigenous artists; performance videos from Music, Dance and Theatre; a continuation of monthly author talks with our Indigenous Book Club; and an exciting partnership with the International Indigenous Music Summit. Artists will be at the forefront with a special summer programming announcement from NAC Indigenous Theatre, coming up on June 3.

Indigenous artwork will be featured on the NAC’s Kipnes Lantern throughout the month of June, with stunning artwork from renowned Indigenous artists Germaine Arnaktauyok (Inuit, Igloolik), Christi Belcourt (Michif [Métis]) and Simon Brascoupé (Anishinaabe). 

In addition, throughout the month of June, the Kipnes Lantern will regularly turn orange, day and night, to honour the 215 Indigenous children found in the mass grave at the Old Kamloops Residential School. The NAC has lowered its flag at half-mast for 215 hours (nine days), representing one hour for each child found at the unmarked mass grave and in memory of the many other Indigenous children that remain undiscovered in unmarked graves at Residential schools across the country. 

On June 21, the NAC will be partnering with APTN’s Content Creation team on Better Late Than Never, a new documentary that takes audiences into the inaugural launch of NAC Indigenous Theatre. The documentary premieres on the APTN lumi streaming platform on National Indigenous Peoples Day. 
Keep your eyes open for the special summer programming announcement on June 3 and for more details, please visit the NAC website.  

Better Late Than Never – APTN lumi Documentary 
June 21 – Available for free with an APTN lumi basic membership 
Better Late Than Never is a mini-documentary showcasing the inaugural season of the National Arts Centre’s Indigenous Theatre (themed “Our Stories Are Medicine”). It tells the story of how the theatre came to be and its historical significance. In many ways, the theatre’s trajectory is tied to the rise of Indigenous activism beginning in the 1960s and the resulting artworks that have reflected Indigenous identities and realities over the ensuing half-century. We hope this film will bear witness to how the Indigenous arts community has broken down barriers, risen to artistic excellence and embodied culturally-specific storytelling practices – and how this storytelling serves as medicine. The purpose of the film is to not only to shine a light on the Indigenous Theatre itself but to explore the evolution of the Indigenous arts community and how initiatives like the Indigenous Theatre help to foster, preserve and inspire that community.  
Powwow Workout Classes 
June 3, 10, 17, 24 – 12 noon EDT 
Powwow Workout​s are free classes, available to watch on NAC Indigenous Theatre's Facebook page. Each video will be online, available to watch anytime until 2:00pm EST on the following Saturday. 
June 3 and 17 – Allex Wells 
June 10 and 24 – Steevi King

The International Indigenous Music Summit  
June 8 - 12 
The International Indigenous Music Summit is taking place June 8 to 12, 2021 and will be entirely virtual this year. They will host a variety of programming including showcases, roundtables, panel discussions and much more. In partnership with the NAC, we look forward to continuing our support and welcoming the Summit back into the NAC for next year’s in person event! 

AIRsessions Workshop: Ila Barker  
June 10 and 24 – 8 PM EDT 
Register to participate in these small-group online session to learn about how these artists make music and to share your questions and musical ideas. Priority registration to Indigenous youth aged 13 to 25. Other participants accepted if space is available. 
June 10 – Ila Barker with Leela Gilday 
June 24 – Ila Barker with DJ Shub 

June 11 - 8 pm EDT Fridays at the Fourth.  
Popular Music & Variety presents Singer-songwriter SHAUIT, Métis from Mani-Utenam on Quebec's North Shore, offers us a show where all genres are combined, fusing traditional Innu music with folk and reggae. 

Our Stories: Indigenous Book Club Author talk 
In partnership with the Ottawa Public Library, Our Stories: Indigenous Book Club has run from January - June 2021, with monthly books including poetry, fiction, memoirs and plays. Our June book is ‘What I Remember, What I Know: the Life of a High Arctic Exile’ by Larry Audlaluk.  
Continuing throughout June 
On May 3, 2021, NAC Dance launched CAPSULE, a new video series featuring 60 short films created by Canadian dance artists. To celebrate National Indigenous History Month, we invite you to explore seven CAPSULE films by Indigenous dance artists: 

Territory by Jeanette Kotowich 
Catching Spirit by Raven Grenier 
X̱wáýx̱way Swoon by Olivia C Davies 
Solidification ᒪᔥᑲᐗᒋ 凝 by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson x Chimerik 似不像 
Smudge by Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo 
Begin Again by Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers 
try-fixer by Daina Ashbee 

Grand Acts of Theatre 
This past year, a number of Canada's most innovative theatre companies were engaged to create and perform large-scale, new works in response to these times, performed outdoors in front of live audiences in various Canadian locations. Videos can be watched throughout the month. 
Tauvigjuaq (The Great Darkness) Artcirq (Igloolik, NU) 
Intramural.e - Théâtre Cercle Molière / Synonym Art Consultation (Winnipeg, MB) 
Iniskim - Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry (Calgary, AB) 
Trespassers Waltz – Curtain Razors (Regina, SK)
Continuance: Yonkwa'nikonhrakontáhkwen - Our Consciousness Continues Unchanged - Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (Six Nations, ON)

Indigenous Words Colouring Pages 

We are sharing colouring pages with Indigenous words from across Turtle Island featuring artwork created by Indigenous artists from the regions where these languages are spoken. Colouring pages are created by artists Donna Langhorne, Mairi Brascoupé, Megan Kyak Monteith, and Ryan Pooman. 

People of all ages can join us in colouring in these pages and learning Indigenous languages. The colouring pages are available to download on the NAC website. 
Visiting Dance Artists Program  
NAC Dance is proud to announce the appointment of two Indigenous dance artists to the Visiting Dance Artists Program.   

The Visiting Dance Artist program, a joint initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Arts Centre, supports the creative development and advancement of selected Canadian choreographers by providing immersive, individually tailored residency experiences.  

Brian Solomon, of Anishinaabe and Irish heritage, is a multidisciplinary artist whose creative approach is raw, challenging and present. Brian’s residency will focus on the further development and evolution of his installation work The Dumb Bears.   

Born in Ottawa, Josée Bourgeois is an Algonquin First Nations from Pikwakanagan, Ontario. She is an accomplished performer, who over the past 12 years has traveled the Eastern Pow wow Trail as a Fancy Shawl and Jingle dress dancer. Josée’s residency will be an opportunity for her to develop and realize her first mid-scale production entitled The Sickness.  

NAC Dance looks forward to working these two promising young artists and will share more details about their Visiting Dance Artist Residencies soon. 


The National Arts Centre Foundation wishes to acknowledge the support of TD Bank and the Slaight Family Foundation, Major Partners of Indigenous Programming.   
Indigenous Theatre at Canada’s National Arts Centre is made possible through the support of many generous individuals and organizations from across the country. Thank you to Indigenous Theatre Season Sponsor BMO Financial Group, Hotel Partner The Embassy Hotel and Suites, and Official Rail Partner VIA Rail. The National Arts Centre Foundation also wishes to acknowledge the leadership support of Shirley Greenberg, C.M., OOnt, Frank and Debbi Sobey, Kenneth and Margaret Torrance Endowment for Indigenous Theatre, the Vered Family, and an Anonymous Donor. 



The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams—the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety—and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation. 


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