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  • Kim Senklip Harvey

Building the Fire: the Kamloopa Podcast

We're T-7 days from heading to Tk’emlúps to start working on building the ceremony that is Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story. I'm pumped about so many things, it feels like my spirit is being drawn to all these powerful women, by the Land, the Ancestors and the Animals. 

I'm also really curios about how the land is going to impact the work, it's been another summer of Fires so there's a lot of smoke. Just going to honour how Mother Earth is speaking, she is always gonna do what she is gonna do.

As we've been gathering the materials for this fire, the practice and protocols around gathering and sharing keep coming up. The telling of the Kamloopa story is just one part of the whole ceremony and I wanted to make sure that access to the entire ceremony happens. For example with the feast happening on day one, everyone's invited Chief and Band Councils, Staff and their families, the Ancestors and all parts of ourselves.

Kevin Loring uses the metaphor of having to "dislocate our shoulders" to have to sit at some Canadian Theatre tables. Not on this show, our whole selves will be honoured and prescened. I've recently had a profoundly moving experience of knowing what it feels like to be fully seen and how that can transform a person, an experience, a creation and how that intersects with how we relate, respect and love ourselves and one another. I'm excited to help create and hold that space for the women of Kamloopa, I feel like we're unleashing something.

We're also going to have some open rehearsals, I think it's so important that we share experiences and knowledge because hoarding is just not an Indigenous value or teaching. I think this secretive, privileged, distancing practice of shutting out the community throughout the creation process is at the root of why so many different communities feel uninvited. It’s an inequitable process of access and reach.

When we did the workshop of the Kamloopa story portion of the ceremony in January, I remember Executive Director of the Cultch Heather Redfern saying "Kim you're inventing something, you're inventors." And I immediately thought - well I don't have a lab coat or a monocle - who knew that's what I thought inventors looked like?! Then I thought well fuck that means presenting this is going to have to be radically different because we're presenting something different. So I thought how can I make sure that people know this is creating an Indigenous ceremony, our medicine.

So we're making a POOOOOODCAAAAAAST!!!

I said let's share the process so let's do a podcast that invites people in to the trials and tribulations of inventing something. So we can give many offers to the community so that when we all come sit at the Fire, we know what our roles are and how we participate. I have the powerhouse Jessica Schacht on the Fire Igniters and Tenders crew and she's leading the creation process of this part of the Fire. She is hooking it up and she's got our first teaser episode out so click here to take a listen and remember to subscribe!!! I half jokingly say I will contribute laughs and hair flips to the podcast. 

This ceremony is about reclamation and celebrating so it's my hope that you take a listen and have a laugh and come to the show feeling a part of it already. We're going to be vulnerable and brave and def have some big belly laughs that you're not going to want to miss out on.

With excitement, love, and hair flips,


Fire Creator.

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