October 2020 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

The Summit: the power of Indigenous stories

Listening to someone speak who knows something we do not is powerful medicine. Knowing how to listen well is hard especially when we are busy formulating clever responses to prove our worth or the acuity of our listening/learning. But what happens when we are asked to remain silent? A deep conversation with different rules and rewarding outcomes.

In April NAC English Theatre gathered 12 Indigenous leaders and artists from across the country and beyond, at the Banff Centre for The Summit, an exploration of the breadth and scope of Indigenous work on Canadian soil.  The 11 Listeners represented cultural institutions. The Leaders spoke and the Listeners listened and much was learned.

“Non-native Canadian culture takes so much of its identity from the northern culture. In that nation-building period there was so much material taken from Aboriginal cultures in a non-verbal way and everyone has this connection to them.” Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory

NAC English Theatre has, since its inception in 1969, had relationships with Indigenous peoples, but as with all institutions, our capacity to access and understand the breadth and volume of work being created required a refresh - and that is where the listening comes in.

"For me it was a great honour to gather Indigenous artistic leaders — heroes of mine, into the room and hear them speak about the depth, breadth and history of the work." Yvette Nolan

Co-curated by Associate Artistic Director of English Theatre Sarah Garton Stanley and playwright Yvette Nolan, The Summit generated  ideas and issues that will shape The Study, a two-week long gathering of Indigenous leaders and artists and students that will take place in 2015 with the goal of bringing Indigenous approaches and stories closer to the centre of our national expression. 

"For me it was a great honour to gather Indigenous artistic leaders — heroes of mine, into the room and hear them speak about the depth, breadth and history of the work." Yvette Nolan

Photo: Back row: Corey Payette, Cole Alvis, Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory, Michael Green, Nathan Medd, Collette Brennan, Brian Calliou, Ryan Cunningham, Herbie Barns, Jillian Keiley, Daniel David Moses, Jorn Weisbrodt Centre: Elder Tom, Sandra Laronde, Andy Lunney, Guylaine Normandin, Brian Quirt Bottom Row: Margo Kane, Jani Lauzon, Yvette Nolan, Tara Renwick, Rachael Maza, Naomi Campbell, Sarah Garton Stanley, Monique Mojica (not pictured: Michael Greyeyes)


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