Based on a deposition signed by 14 Chiefs of the Thompson River basin on the occasion of a visit to their lands by Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1910, Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout is a ritualized retelling of how the First Nations of British Columbia lost their fishing, hunting and grazing rights, their lands, and finally their language without their agreement or consent, and without any treaties ever having been signed. It is one of the most compellingly tragic cases of cultural genocide to emerge from the history of colonialism, enacted by four women whose stories follow each other like the cyclical seasons they represent. Written in the spirit of Shuswap, a “Trickster language” within which the hysterically comic spills over into the unutterably tragic and back, this play is haunted by the blood of the dead spreading over the landscape like a red mist of mourning. Co-commissioned by Western Canada Theatre and the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society, Tomson Highway’s play Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout (2005) is set in British Columbia during the visit of Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier to the Thompson River Valley in August of 1910. The central characters are four women, representing the four seasons, preparing the feast for Laurier’s visit.