To have knowledge is a privilege and when gifted with a teaching it's an Indigenous practice to then share those teachings with others. This protocol is why I believe Indigenous peoples have thrived for thousands of years. It's an honour to be able to share space with others and exchange knowledge, I love listening and learning. I'm spending the majority of next year in research and writing mode and I said to someone recently that I'm just going to sneak into University courses to audit them. SFU and UBC watch out!
This past week with Kamloopa we had a sold out high school matinee with a talkback that was kind of adorable. The young people are giving great feedback about it being relevant and relatable. When we first set out to do this we knew that even having 3 Indigenous women hold space on stage with no Settlers was going to be powerful but to read what some young women and girls are messaging me has been making my heart soar. They are sharing their experiences with their loved ones and saying that they are leaving feeling inspired and powerful - that is the biggest metric of success for me. Indigenous Matriarch power power power.
The knowledge sharing process is cyclical, it's a relationship based on trust and humility that both parties have perspectives, information and knowledge to give and receive. I find that a lot of Canadian mentor/apprentice relationships can get positioned in a hierarchical state where one party assumes authority and then knowledge dumps happen but Indigenous knowledge sharing for me, is lateral, equitable, fluid and nimble.
I had the honour of going to the N'kwala School on my Syilx Nation on Friday and spent the afternoon with the primary students and then the intermediates and high school students. They started off the afternoon with drumming and singing and I was filled with such pride. They sang in Syilx about how we are beautiful because we come from the land and the land is beautiful.
With the wee ones we played theatre games and I got them to make a 1 min story. The brief was that they had to include 3 things - 1. They needed to have 2 sentences in Syilx 2. They needed to include 1 of the 4 food Chiefs and 3. They needed to use something found on the playground, flower, rocks - anything they wanted and found. They picked different spots on the school yard and told stories in our language about life saving dandelions, the power of food and grizzly bears. Cute factor high.
I shared that storytelling can and should happen everywhere, that you don't have to be on a stage or take classes or need anything but the land around us. I felt so proud speaking about the talented storytellers that come from the Interior Salish and that they a part of that lineage and community. It is our birthright to tell stories and they did and it really moved me.
With the high school students and the intermediates they did some creative writing and I was blown away with their abilities to make cosmologies and embed teachings and the Syilx language into their work. They told stories about bears, boys that turned into fishes and rocks that gave them powers.
This work is Kamloopa to me, it's not "community engagement" it is the Artistic Ceremony. Sharing space to create and do knowledge sharing is an essential and integral part of creating any story. Stewardship is my job, creating environments for the next generation to be our storytellers is the most important part of the Kamloopa Artistic Ceremony. It is an honour to get to listen to them and learn from them. I'm going back up until the roads get too bad and then I'll go back up hopefully once a month when Spring comes back around.
There are a number of University's and colleges that are coming to Kamloopa and I'm going to visit their classes to hold dialogues and that work that is also really important to me and essential to the ceremony - it is the ceremony. If you're an educator and coming to the show hollar at me and I'd be happy to come visit you and your crew.
We load in the set tmw and open on Wednesday and tickets can be purchased here.
There are limited tickets available for the entire run so get em while you can! Also if you're coming to opening the Fire Company will be wearing red in honour of the REDress campaign and we invite you to as well.
Also, we're having a big celebration after the Opening show on Wed Sept 26th and you're all invited! Even if you don't see the show that night or at all you're all invited to the party at The Cultch. We've got Dj Oshow spinning in Club C-lab and we are here for it! Put your town clothes on and come thru @ 10:30pm to see how the Matriarch's lay it down.
With great excitement and love,
We've also got a special Community of Practice happening at the Cultch this Mon Sept 24th at 6pm and you can find out more information about it here.