By David Ng, Outreach Coordinator, Theatre for Living
I am very excited that Theatre for Living’s Mainstage production early next year, šxʷʔamət (home), intends to look at issues related to our struggle and journey’s towards Reconciliation. Why?
The book, My Name is Seepeetza, was my first introduction to the legacy of residential schools in Canada. I remember reading it in 1998, when I was 12 years old – and horrified to hear that this is how Indigenous children my age were treated in the Residential School system … but I didn’t really fully understand my own relationship (as a child of Chinese immigrants) to the colonial system in Canada that enforced this violent system of assimilation.
Racist attitudes towards First Nations communities are rampant in my own community that I grew up in. This attitude of “well, we escaped war and poverty, and now made our lives better – why can’t they?” is very pervasive. I’ve learned that for me, part of my own struggle and journey towards reconciliation is recognizing that these deeply entrenched attitudes within my own immigrant community are a part of the systemic issues that reinforce the violence that is directed to Indigenous people in Canada.
After all the proclamations, apologies, and policies from the government to address reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada … what does reconciliation look and feel like on the ground? Is it just another form of assimilation? How do we ensure it is honourable?
The project will be created and performed by Indigenous and non-indigenous people living the issues, and will be directed by David Diamond, and Associate Director Renae Morriseau. All participants and cast are paid a living wage – no acting experience is required. The only requirement is lived experiences in the journey towards Reconciliation.
Are you interested in contributing to the process by sharing your own journey towards Reconciliation?
Apply now to be a part of šxʷʔamət (home)!
Workshop dates: Jan 30th – Feb 4th, 2017
Rehearsals: Feb 7th – 26th, 2017
Play: 11 performances, March 3 – 11th, 2017 (with a preview on March 2nd) at the Firehall Arts Centre.
To apply, email me, Theatre for Living’s Outreach Coordinator, David Ng ([email protected]), your application, which consists of the two questions below. The deadline for applications is Oct 21st.
- We want real diversity in the room, so tell us who you are, and anything else you want us to know about you!
- What is your journey towards reconciliation? What are the blockages that you think exist? Share with us your story, your lived experiences with Reconciliation, and what it means to you?
There is no right or wrong answer to these questions – we are looking for your own personal lived experiences and expertise.
Please share this post with any one you think might be interested in participating in šxʷʔamət (home).
Please keep in mind that the work is physical work – meaning it uses the physical language of the theatre to engage with the issues we are investigating. It does not involve verbal storytelling/testimonials, or flipcharts.
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David Ng is a queer, feminist, social justice advocate who has been actively involved in grassroots campaigning since he was 14 years old. He has since worked on numerous campaigns and projects including youth sexual health initiatives, feminist anti-violence campaigns, anti racist projects, and other forms of fun, radical, anti-oppression work. Some of the projects he has worked on has included co-creating marketing and media for the book Picturing Transformation: Nexw-áyantsut – a book about a solidarity movement between First Nations and non-First Nations communities, as well as film editing for the Circles of Understanding residential school story project. He is the co-founder of the feminist and anti-racist solidarity blog LoveIntersections.com.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and may not reflect the views and opinions of Reconciliation Canada.