ISSUE 12.4

Unpacking Our Understanding of “Conduct”

Braiden Houle, Lee Maracle, Iehente Foote, and Mackenzie Konecny celebrating at Aanmitaagzi's Big Medicine Studio after the production of Beneath Us! during the Train of Thought stop in Nipissing First Nation. Photo by Liam Coo

Written by Savannah Walling with Sid Bobb, Columpa Bobb, Penny Couchie, and Lee Maracle
with contributions by Damara Jacobs-Morris

In May 2015, most of the contributors to this article travelled across Canada on Train of Thought. We are artists associated with two arts organizations who co-produced events specifically created for the Train of Thought national tour: aanmitaagzi from nipissing First nation (ontario) and Vancouver Moving Theatre from Vancouver / Coast salish Territories (b.C.) The once-in-a-lifetime journey carried wonders and gifts; it also carried difficulties and missteps. This article has prompted us to sift through dense territory as we seek out ways we can link together. We’ve begun unpacking some of what transpired, sharing with each other the why’s and ways Vancouver Moving Theatre (and their partners) moved toward engaging with protocol(s), while aanmitaagzi chose to disengage from formal protocol.

The words of the article are woven together from a variety of sources—including a phone conversation between Savannah Walling, Sid and Columpa Bobb, Penny Couchie, and Lee Maracle; video interviews by Train of Thought documentarian Don Bouzek; and written communication from Damara Jacobs-Morris.

PROTOCOL AND GOOD RELATIONS

SAVANNAH We raced so swiftly on Train of Thought, surfing from activity to activity, we rarely had space to reflect on recurring problems or challenges. In my understanding, this was a journey of reconciliation and collaboration through participatory art-making between First Nations and settler/immigrant artists and communities.

COLUMPA Activity took precedence over the inner actions of the goals and objectives. Everywhere we went, people had different ideas about what Train of Thought was. Somehow I missed the memo about this trip being about “coming out of the shadows of colonization,” and I kind of felt bad at that point. It was really interesting to have that as our launching pad. But everywhere we’ve been, the hosts have a different idea of what Train of Thought is. I couldn’t answer any of the questions about how we come out from under the shadows of colonization, because it’s not in the past. It’s hard to, when you’re in the throes of something.

SID The intention expressed to me was communities coming together to see what each of us is doing, to share what we’re doing, to engage with each other as artists involved in or related to community arts. Part of my excitement was wanting to reflect and share our collective barometers of where we imagined the country is.

SAVANNAH Most of the questions and issues arising throughout the journey, we never had time to unpack on the road. Divergent perspectives on “Protocol,” “Conduct,” and “Process” emerged again and again.
Multiple understandings and teachings were swimming around the subject of protocol, often co-existing. I’ve heard protocol referred to as a body of laws, part of governance and relationship to the land, and government-to-government relationships.

COLUMPA The understanding I have of protocol is that it’s used during times of strife. We invoke our HIGHEST discipline and our STRICTEST structures, so that we don’t kill each other during negotiated and mediated truces. What they call high protocol is between two houses of two nations who want to kill each other. The protocol keeps us disciplined and structured so that we can see our ways through the strife and come out on the other side with open hands, which means in friendship. Now if we’re invoking high protocol between friends, my first question is “Why are we doing that?” Why should we want to work through this friendship to come to something else?

SAVANNAH I’ve also heard “protocol(s)” used to describe ways of approaching your work (how you take care of the people, the space, and the art); ways of practising different disciplines (theatre, music, cooking, etc.); ways of showing respect; agreements on ways to work and collaborate. I’ve heard of implicit, informal, and formal protocols. I’m told that Coast Salish protocol governs the right to perform certain songs and dances, the way they occur and the passing of inherited usage- rights to lands and waterways. I’m learning, in conversation with my co-writers, that protocol can be hurtful if used as a barrier, to gate-keep, to exclude, or to disenfranchise children from their birthright. It can be hurtful if protocol takes precedence over individuals, replaces policy, or is used to take away rights and freedoms or to pressure people into doing something that doesn’t feel right. It can open the door to dysfunction, elitism, and exclusionary, divisive practices. Harms happen through bad intention, through ignorance, carelessness, or haste. Negotiating protocols can involve misunderstandings and missteps. However, in the “paradox of the misstep” (a phrase by Will Weigler), tensions arising when moments of different understandings or intentions rub up against each other can also act as generative catalysts. What is foundational is relationship building. So is taking the time to build relationships.

LEE What I think is a valuable conversation: “Did we establish good relations wherever we went?” And if we did not, if we don’t feel like we did, then what were some of the troubles? For then it is about relationships—-which is an Indigenous concern, whether it is something foreign or something familiar, to take care of our relationships.

Christie Lee lCharles talks bout the history of the land in Stanley Park, Vancouver, Coast Salish territories during TRACKS symposium.

Vancouver Moving Theatre (VMT): Vancouver/Coast Salish Territories, B.C.

SAVANNAH Vancouver Moving Theatre co-produced with multiple partners TRACKS: the 7th Canadian Community Play & Art Symposium (In Vancouver and Enderby, B.C.) and—-within the symposium—-The Big House, a community gathering and cultural feast (1). From day one, the symposium focused on collaborative community-engaged art that builds relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. From day one, the focus of The Big House was to honour founding Coast Salish, urban Aboriginal, and immigrant communities of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The symposium was born over ten months in one try. The Big House was born over five years via a series of community-engaged investigations. Both involved developmental processes new to us. Both involved a mix of new relationships and relationships of trust established over many years. Both were immensely affected by transformative events taking place in Vancouver. Its city council proclaimed June 2013–2014 as a Year of Reconciliation: a time to acknowledge the impact of Canada’s residential schools upon our communities and begin the work of building new respectful relationships between Aboriginal peoples and the city. For three days in September 2013, Vancouver was host city to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission: the sixth of seven national events to educate Canadians about the history and legacy of residential schools. Nine months later, city council voted unanimously to acknowledge that Vancouver was founded on traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations: ancestral lands never ceded through treaty, war, or surrender. Council directed staff to work with representatives from the three nations to develop appropriate protocols to use in conducting city business that respects the traditions of welcome, blessing, and acknowledgment of the territory.

Residents are grappling with our history as Canadians and how to be part of healthier change. As Big House collaborator Paula Jardine said, “History is not just the past. The past is erupting all around us and showing it is very much present.” How do communities repair damaged and broken relationships and forge new ones where none existed? Events such as the Talking Stick Festival’s symposium on “protocol in the arts” are helping Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to better understand these changes and ways we situate ourselves in the traditional territories. For over a decade, VMT has been collaborating with, presenting, and learning from Indigenous cultural presenters and artists: among others, Bob Baker, Mike and Mique’l Dangeli, Rosemary Georgeson, Renae Morriseau, Woodrow (Woody) Morrison, and Wes Nahanee. They are helping VMT learn about honouring indigenous cultural protocols and acknowledging the land on which we live and work. We have successes, missteps, and new challenges.

As the partners embarked upon TRACKS symposium, we brought Renae Morisseau (Cree/Saulteaux) onto the organizing team and engaged Damara Jacobs-Morris (Squamish) as coordinator. We consulted with artists and cultural advisors from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations to hear their response to our symposium plans and help us understand how local protocols should happen and respectful ways to incorporate other nations coming onto this territory. These questions were especially important to the producing partners given the history of our relationships with Coast Salish artists and presenters, and the reality that the City of Vancouver now has an intergovernmental relationship with these three local First Nations. From these conversations emerged an offer from Damara Jacobs-Morris to undertake a more formal approach: to enact Coast Salish protocol to open and close the symposium. The partners accepted this offer, which we understood would take us into new, uncharted territory and deepen existing
relationships.

DAMARA It was our honour to share with TRACKS Symposium delegates the ancient protocols of the Squamish peoples, who have similar cultural practices with the Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam. As the local First Nations, we welcomed delegates to our shared unceded traditional territory. The Vancouver TRACKS Symposium Family after much negotiation decided to enact protocol instead of simply discussing it. Therefore the entire Vancouver portion of the symposium was treated as ceremonial Work. We followed the rigours of ceremony and in keeping with our tradition we called Witnesses. Being “called to Witness” is a great honour, for you become a part of the ceremony and carry the responsibility of being a record keeper. We respectfully asked that delegates honour our ways while on our territory as we were creating history through oral tradition. Throughout the symposium, the traditions of the Coast Salish peoples were honoured. During the opening ceremony, traditional speakers conducted an Acknowledgment of Place, Calling of Witnesses, and official welcome to visitors.

I was in charge of protocol. I acted as the family matriarch, and my family, in this case, is the steering committee (jil weaving, Marie Lopes, Renae Morriseau, Savannah Walling, and Terry Hunter). Through my role within my own community, Squamish Nation, I have been honoured with the teachings and assist in “running the floor.” I hired the Traditional Speakers: Wesley Nahanee (Squamish), Gabriel George (Tsleil-Watuth), and Shane Pointe (Musqueam). All three of these men have been trained in our longhouses. After discussion with them and given the spirit of the symposium, we decided this is the best way to enact our protocol.

SAVANNAH In contrast to this, we took a more informal approach with VMT’s community feast. In the words of First Nations rapporteur Kwasuun Sarah Vedan, ”The Big House (VMT), like local traditional Aboriginal “Big Houses,” is a gathering place where Coast Salish Protocol and acknowledgement of the territories takes place; it is a place where special honour is given to guests and local individuals for work in the community; it is a time to listen to Elders, Artists, Teachers, and other leaders; it is a time to visit, laugh, learn, and network; extending one’s neighbourhood reach.(2) The Big House involved rehearsed elements, unrehearsed ceremonial elements, planned elements, and spontaneous elements. Its creation involved negotiating communication protocols, performance protocols, culinary protocols, cultural protocols (Coast Salish, urban Aboriginal, Ukrainian, Chinese), and social and cultural divides within the community. It took several tries to figure out a respectful inclusionary strategy within a context of limited seating. Each Big House feast was successful, but none was perfect and all came with learnings.

Aanmitaagzi: Nipissing First Nation, Ontario (Treaty 9)

COLUMPA You can’t colonize a faction of country: you colonize a whole country. We’re all colonized. We all have colonized thinking. We’re all institutionalized peoples inside this country. You cannot colonize a piece of a country. That’s impossible. You can’t remove entire nations from the rest of the citizenry for 150 years and not create an unconscious belief that we are to be removed. So when we talk about decolonization and reconciliation, reconciliation has to first happen with self. In order to do that, every colonized person in this country has to understand where they are situated inside the system of colonization, how they’re being used, and how they’re using others: as a colonized citizen of this young country.

In terms of protocol, there’s a political issue here that is an internal issue for our peoples. That is a reconciliation that has to happen internally. We haven’t had time to approach this philosophically with each other as nation, community, or family. This has not been a reality! So how can we, with any confidence or truth, tell others what protocol is and what it means between us—-as native people and as native people with non-native people-—when we haven’t had an opportunity to talk about, re-learn, accept, amend, or even throw it away if need be? If we have to name it before we reclaim it, we’ll never know. And all of us will move forward in broken cultural pursuits in a timeline dictated by colonial pressures.

SID The initial experience I had with protocol was preparing to go to Vancouver. The framework I put it in for myself was “best practices.” leading up to arriving in Vancouver, there was a great focus on things related to protocol and reconciliation, but they were being put into a project and a time frame that really didn’t have the space or capacity to meaningfully engage with those two things. It was definitely very meaningful to see my cousin at the TRACKS symposium and to hear our songs and dances. I brought my son. For him to be there and then to be sent off by the dancers and singers that came out to the train station was very meaningful.

SAVANNAH This was the TRACKS symposium leaving-taking ceremony. We invited cultural groups from the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish Nations and the Downtown Eastside to gather at the train station. Cultural speakers gathered at the Marker of Change Monument, to send the travellers off in a good way—with words, songs and dances—-to feel supported in working to connect communities across Canada.

SID But there are gaps between contemporary practices. I come from a fractured family that is coming back together. We got to see my cousins dance [Gabriel George and the Children of Takaya]. To bring my son was a chance to situate him within his ancestral land, people, and art forms. This narrowed the divide between myself, my son, and our family and dances.

But there were also aspects that felt like little bombs were going off, and all these intentions and outcomes didn’t always match. During the witnessing ceremony, I felt alienated from my family and traditions as I watched other non-Aboriginals participating in a ceremony with my family. I was happy for the community, but the disconnect between myself and my family and culture was exacerbated and was a painful reminder of the alienation within my own life and community. I think there’s a lot to be considered when carrying out this type of work.

COLUMPA Penny and Sid, the artistic directors of Aanmitaagzi, left the journey partway so that they could prepare for when Train of Thought arrived in their community. It was good that they were on Train of Thought first, because the project in Nipissing really was responding to the journey they’d been on with the rest of us. It was the first time where Train of Thought travellers had responded to the travelling in their home community.

SID When we were thinking about Train of Thought we had this opportunity to engage with the Dream Big Conference [organized by Clayton Windat]. We invited people into an exploration and investigation that we were doing with the community.

PENNY When we got to Nipissing and were bringing people here, I didn’t focus on protocol. It was really important to both Sid and me that we sought out a forum for the greatest degree of inclusivity. Sometimes the avenue of protocol has barriers between nations and those who are disenfranchised. When we got here, there was real desire to say, okay, this is what we are doing here, this is what we are doing in our family and place. This is what we do here in the studio: invite people into an exchange of what we do here. And to play-—there was a desire to play for a few days.

LEE I was telling Sid, “oh, that looks like our story you guys are doing.” And he says, “Well, it should, you told it to me.” So it became a source of great pride and dignity. To be included from 3000 miles away in an art production with two nations of people and artists and a whole community that’s Anishinaabe was so beautiful for me. I think it has to do with that we have an understanding and we talk about things and we gain a deeper understanding to make sure that the human soul and the human heart are always the first considered.

SAVANNAH The place I felt culturally “at home” on the trip was the experience at Aanmitaagzi. Although Penny and Sid did not use formal cultural practices in the traditional way, their clarity of intention and their process of inclusive, recurring circle conversations were close in spirit to The Big House. There was time and space to include the whole circle of travellers in a way that just wasn’t possible on so much of the trip and became less and less possible the further east we went.

PENNY How much intelligence there is in a strong circle. Sometimes the first time the circle goes around… the surface. The second time goes to a deeper level. The penny drops and keeps dropping… and then continues with each round. You let questions hang in the air, let others answer, let an answer exist in the space, taking from our experiences, values, and ideas. You allow people to have their own world views and paradigms, connect heart and head. It’s happened for hundreds of years.

SID When we came to North Bay, we tried to simplify the agenda and set up achievable goals. At this moment, I am not focused on historic cultural protocols. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done internally, as an Aboriginal First Nation. There is a web that needs to be untangled: a history of exclusion, and a loss of our representative inclusiveness within our community. We had three days and we ate together, made together, and dreamed together and investigated and explored these ideas, then created an event that the audience could witness.

COLUMPA In two days we put up this show [beneath us (3)]—-37 minutes of dance and theatre and puppetry. I think working that quickly is something every artist should do whether they work in community art or not, because it’s a good reminder of how much time we waste doubting ourselves and others in any artistic practice. It was a brilliant piece of performance that day one was animated and day two was performed.

LEE In building [Aanmitaagzi], Sid and Penny had their elders’ support in the family. I think that makes the young people really sovereign in their territories and sovereign in their relations with others, and able to make decisions like these. When the youth are supported by the elders to make all those decisions and be supported in those decisions, things go well.

COLUMPA It was very clear that we were using arts practices to build community between, through, and among us. And everybody felt like they belonged to Big Medicine studio by the end of it.

LEE Even the children.

COLUMPA So it was very clear [in putting up beneath us] “this is what art can do”… Although I enjoyed The Big House, it felt like the culmination of work they’ve been doing over time. Whereas here, we built the show, right? In Vancouver, it was the witnessing of the work that had already been done: a totally different process, but just as valuable. ‘Cause it FELT good to see all the different kinds of people involved in the same ceremony: to see the Ukrainian people and the West Coast people and the Asian people and the settler-Euro people and to be brought to this fun, peaceful method of feasting. But it’s a different process. We’re witnessing the declaration of the work that’s already been done, whereas in North Bay, we did the work together.

You know what I thought was a highlight during Train of Thought? There was a lot of talk about sharing, which to me was mostly how to be more respectful about using Aboriginal culture. The only two times we had cultural sharing from non-Indigenous people was the Vancouver event at The Big House and Kelty [McKerracher] sharing a story [from the Selkie people] in Toronto. In the entire journey across the country, it allowed me to see that there was a very skewed perception of sharing when it comes to Indigenous people working with non-Indigenous people. But it made me feel really good because I know it CAN happen, because it happened twice. And Kelty only did it because of conversations I had with her and she says, ”You know, I’ve heard a lot of native stories but I haven’t actually shared.” Because I told her, “You know, I want to know your stories too. We’re curious people. I don’t know any Scottish stories. And I have Scottish blood in my ancestry!” So there’s something disturbing about settler people not valuing their own selves, culturally speaking.

Packing for a Future Train of Thought

COLUMPA [Indigenous people] haven’t had a chance to talk to each other across the nation about protocol: Is it useful in this time? If so, how is it useful? To me, the most important thing is relationship-building: in building those relationships, we garner an inter-cultural understanding of one another, even if it’s small. But if we’re just concerned with the intellectual rules of engagement, we can’t crack the surface of that small, yet significant heart knowledge we all bring to the table in our own way.

Before invoking activities of protocol, you need to learn the laws and governance principles of the place. Do you agree with them and want to follow them? You gotta know why you’re doin’ it. You gotta keep the steering wheel in your hands. If you intend to do these things, you need to know more about the context and history to know how this came about. The foundation needs to be laid as to why the ceremony is taking place so people can really understand its purpose and what a witness is: that it’s a lifetime to recall in case someone goes asking. You always have different kinds of witnesses—so they will witness different things.

LEE The time to talk about protocols would be before leaving for something like Train of Thought. It would be a discussion between Canadians who are on the train and how they are going to be received and to receive First Nations people as they travel along on the journey. And they would have to talk with a person from each of the communities. And the first question would be: Do we need to follow specific protocols? That literally means: Does that community consider us foreigners?

SID I often imagined what this trip would look like if an Indigenous organization headed up this project.

SAVANNAH One of the thoughts that came forward during Train of Thought emerged out of conversation with Columpa and Eliza Knockwood: the idea of a Canoe of Thought—-Train of Thought being the inhalation, and the exhalation being a Canoe of Thought led by an Aboriginal organization.

COLUMPA I wanted to retrace our steps across the country, so that I could record the sounds of silence in all its geographical changes and images of the landscape. Eliza suggested the canoe.

SID The initial spirit of the project—-bringing us together as community members, as artists, as organizations, as practitioners, as humans of this country—-was absolutely incredible. Many of the initial goals of seeing each other, hearing from each other, working together-—I think a lot of those were met, exceeded.

PENNY Like Sid, for me some of my most memorable times were when we were being received by someone, and when we were being sent off. We got to Edmonton and it was so late at night. And they were singing hand-drum songs outside when we pulled up. And offering us bread when we first came in: it was such a nice receiving. There were lots of those moments-—it was in the way that you invite someone into your home. It was those moments that were so very great.

SID I am in a process of re-connecting to my family, to my communities, to my practice. In terms of a barometer, what it brought to light was that there is much work to do to reintegrate who we are into the way we live. And how to connect all this—-community arts with some of these long-standing practices. I think as I move closer toward integrating these, the impacts will be far-reaching.

COLUMPA Regardless of all or any of the hardships and challenges that we faced, there was a connective tissue constructed between communities across the entire nation. And that is forever priceless and invaluable. And it’s up to us individually to keep those tissues alive so that we can build on that and it will become what it becomes.

The legitimizing of community-engaged art happens because of this trip. It’s huge and we should not take a break from this. I think there needs to be a revisiting of this journey by all participants, and it’s going to take a long time.

The relationships we’ve been able to build with people along the way have been, I think, the most beautiful thing for me: to meet people across the country. I kind of want to calendar the next ten years, just based on people that I’ve met on Train of Thought, to come back together. If I seriously want to do community-engaged art, there are all these communities I can work with. It’s gonna take a couple of decades before I can work with every one of them again. But the beauty in what the trip was is that we created this kind of living opportunity to connect, to reconnect.

SAVANNAH After the Vancouver stop ended and I was no longer acting as a host, I joined Train of Thought as a traveller, pondering on my new role. I came to realize that my task was to witness the journey: to watch and listen and carry in my heart the work taking place around me. My responsibility is to carry the messages back to my home community, and to be prepared—-for the rest of my life—-to recall and share what I’ve heard and seen.

LEE The thing that excited me is that this couldn’t happen at any other time or place in history. All the groups that have now met would not have met at any other period of time than this one. So Train of Thought was the first foray into a new historical period.

COLUMPA Train of Thought: where Indigenous artists and companies stood in solidarity with non-Indigenous artists and companies. Each of us joined together to birth a community of our own; traveling side by side into communities across this great expanse of diverse land and water to meet and greet the creative and critically thinking people who make up a small and significant part of this nation of nations we call Canada. Change is automatic and constant. We can let it happen to us and be swallowed by its ebb and flow, or we can participate in the change occurring and direct the change, carve a path to the future we desire and need. Train of Thought chose the latter.

NOTES

1 Tracks: 7th Canadian Community Play & Art Symposium (May 10-15, 2015) in Vancouver/ Coast Salish Territories and Enderby, B.C./ Secwepemcúl’ecw) was produced by Vancouver Moving Theatre, Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre and Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation in collaboration with Runaway Moon Theatre B.C. and Jumblies Theatre (Ontario). The Big House (May 8-10, 2015) was produced by Vancouver Moving Theatre in cooperation with the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, eight community partners, the TRACKS Symposium and Jumblies Theatre (Ontario).

2 Kwasuun Sarah Vedan, Vital Journeys, Report on TRACKS 7th Canadian Community Play & Art Symposium, 10-12 May 2015, Coast Salish Territories/Vancouver, p. 11.

3 beneath us! is a show that was developed and performed by 45 people, including members of Aanmitaagzi, the Nipissing North Bay community, the Dream Big Conference community, and the Train of Thought community. With the collaborative choreography of Penny Couchie and direction of Sid Bobb, beneath us! tells the story of the human and cedar contract, passed down from Sid, via his mother Lee, from the Salish soil and imagination, telling it the same, but different.

At the time of print Savannah Walling was first-generation immigrant to Canada, associate artistic director of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival, and co-founder/artistic director of Vancouver Moving Theatre, with
whom she toured four continents and created a series of community-engaged productions for/with/about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. A theatre artist/writer/performer trained in dance/mime/music, Savannah collaborates with artists of many genres, traditions, and cultures to create an original repertoire.

At the time of print, Columpa C. Bobb was the founding artistic director of the Urban Indigenous Theatre Company, Winnipeg’s only theatre company and school run for and by Indigenous people. Columpa was a 26-year veteran of the stage; her work has been recognized by nominations and awards such as the Jessie Richardson, Dora Mavor Moore, the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making a Mark award, and the Returning the Gifts award for contribution to North American Native Writing.

At the time of print, Sid Bobb was the co-founder and co-artistic director of Aanmitaagzi, an arts organization engaging the community of Nipissing First Nation and surrounding area. Sid is a Gemini award-winning actor from Coast Salish territory in British Columbia. He is a graduate of University of Toronto’s sociology and drama programs, and attended the Second City school of training, the Banff Centre for the Art’s Aboriginal Dance Project, and the Centre for Indigenous Theatre.

is the author of a number of critically acclaimed literary works, including the novels ravensong, bobbi lee, Daughters are Forever, and Will’s garden; the poetry collection bent box; and the non-fiction work i am Woman. She is the co-editor of a number of anthologies including the award-winning publication My Home as i remember. She is widely published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide, and is a member of the Sto:loh nation.

is a community-engaged and dance theatre arts leader of Anishinaabe ancestry from Nipissing First Nation.
At the time of print, Penny was co-founder and co-artistic director of Aanmitaagzi, a community-engaged multidisciplinary arts company in her home community. Primarily a dancer, actor, teacher, and choreographer, Penny holds an Honours BA in Aboriginal Studies and Drama from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.

is a proud member of the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), proud of her African American/Scottish roots. Dedicated to community-based arts programming within her First Nation community and other Indigenous groups, she’s worked for UBC’s Museum of Anthropology and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, coordinated TRACKS: 7th Canadian Community Play and Art Symposium (Vancouver/ Coast Salish Territories), and at time of print was development and communication manager at the Potlatch Fund (Seattle, US).

We acknowledge the support of