Q. You’re about to launch the first national Indigenous theatre of its kind in the world. How do you feel?
A. I’m excited. I take my position as a sacred trust to the Indigenous storytellers across this land.
Q. What do you hope to achieve?
A. My hope is that NAC Indigenous Theatre will act as a beacon to young artists across the country. That it will inspire them to imagine their stories on our stages.
Q. When you say, “our stories are medicine”, what do you mean?
A. Over the centuries, our languages were brought to the edge of extinction, our dances forbidden and our ceremonies outlawed. Indigenous peoples telling their own stories helps to heal the wounds history has left on us. So we can all move forward in a good way.
Q. How is Indigenous storytelling different?
A. It’s about our stories told and performed through the lens of Indigenous people. We’ve been telling our stories since time immemorial. Our stories are rooted in the land. Our traditions are rooted in oration, song, dance and the celebration of creation. The Indigenous experience is very different than the settler world view of this land.
Q. How can Canadians learn from Indigenous artists?
A. Our work as Indigenous artists often challenges the assumptions of Canada. This challenge we offer is healthy. Necessary. It is a celebration of our continued existence as peoples. We are the land. We are still here. And we are awake.