The National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre and Facebook Canada have announced the creation of #ReconcileThis – Indigenous Voices Online, a four-year initiative that will provide hundreds of transformative Indigenous Voices with funding, production equipment, and training to share their stories, history, and to celebrate culture online.
Creators’ work will range from artistic performances in dance, theatre, and music, to social media content creation, podcast production and writing. #ReconcileThis will also create four, one-year Associate Producer positions at NAC Indigenous Theatre, providing emerging Indigenous leaders the opportunity to shape the national program. The Indigenous Theatre will also create a microsite to showcase selected works and creations of Indigenous Voices. Selected creators will be welcomed to share content through online platforms of their choice with the hashtag #ReconcileThis.
KEVIN LORING: “WE’RE STILL HERE!”
Kevin Loring, Artistic Director of the Indigenous Theatre, spoke at a June 23 FaceBook Live event called Storytelling & Truth: Amplifying Indigenous Voices. Here is an excerpt of his speaking remarks:
‘’The title of this initiative, #Reconcile This, comes from the context we find ourselves in at this time. The weight of the pandemic, the weight of stark, unedited social media recordings of the tragic end of the life of George Floyd, and the news from the Kamloops Residential School, and now with growing momentum from findings at residential school sites around the country. (…)
#ReconcileThis, is a response that I think captures how many Indigenous people are feeling right now. We’re excited, we’re inspired, energized and activated, and we are standing up.
We have been rising, resisting, educating and transforming for generations. #ReconcileThis is a response to the regret we carried, and yes, to the anger and sadness that it takes to shock. The stark images, testimony of thousands of survivors, the discovery of mass graves filled with indigenous children, to impact the consciousness of the broader public.
#ReconcileThis is an opportunity to channel all that energy to create awareness and activation and powerful compelling art to bring a spotlight to the issues, experiences, and realities of Indigenous people, and to celebrate the strength and beauty of our cultures from coast to coast to coast.
We are still here. In spite of all that we have endured, we’re still here! Indigenous and proud. This offer from Facebook to find and activate hundreds of offerings from indigenous artists and creatives, to fund and create meaningful professional development opportunities for four emerging Indigenous leaders and the hundreds of participants that will be in the program, including providing equipment and training is generous and on point. It creates a platform for placing our stories, our creativity, our brilliance in the spotlight, on the platform of our choice.
This, is action on reconciliation. This program creates the opportunity for everyone to take action. To take in the amazing transformative offerings of the Indigenous artists and creators we will be working with over the next four years. Our stories are medicine. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it. We can move forward in a spirit of openness, generosity, and healing, to honour those who have come before and empower the future.”
The Internet has been a democratizing force for traditionally marginalized and under-represented voices. This effort aims to amplify hundreds of Indigenous Voices across any online platform, where the creators own the content they create and how they share their stories.”