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  • Kim Senklip Harvey

Indigenous Theatre is Medicine


Headed into week 3 of rehearsal for Kamloopa and there have been so many teachings this far that I feel so grateful for. The Fire Company is igniting something I've humbly never experienced in theatre before. I've never laughed so hard, I've never cried so many tears of love and I've never been this saturated in Indigenous Matriarchal energy, sounds and spirits. I'm not really sure what to make of it, so I just continually try to celebrate the moment in front of us and try to hold space for courage and wisdom.

These journey's of creation are acts of reclamation, spiritual baths that feel like walking through old growth trees. Indigenous theatre for me is filled with currents of worldy teachings activated by our bloodlines. I firmly believe they are the medicine that has and will continue to nourish us.

Which is why attending Indigenous theatre is incredibly important to me. Going to the Talking Stick Festival, seeing Hot Brown Honey, attending Push's presentation of Black Arm Band's Dirt Song and seeing Savage Society's Songs of the Land is vital to reclaiming Indigenous sovereignty over our art and our people. For me, attending these stories goes much beyond the "show", these stories impact, resonate and now live with me which is an honour and a responsibility as a witness. Attending these stories is a suspension from colonial oppression, it's a freedom like no other.

Sunday was Savage Society's performance for their newest show "The Council of Spider, Ant and Fly" and it was powerful. I had the fortune of being in their creation work with Songs of the Land last summer and I hold that time deep within me. Working with Kevin's community, the youth and Elders is some of the most important work I've ever done. Returning today to see new babies, the little ones who are a little older, hugging old friends and Aunty's and play fighting with the bb's in the grass is where my heart is the most at peace.

I made a small video of their performance which you can check out below. Limelet Savage for making this Festival one I never want to miss. This outdoor stage that exists up the mountain from where the Thompson and the Fraser River meet is my favourite venue.

Thank you for the teachings and the medicine.

Lots of decolonial love,

kim.


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