Indigenous Women’s Theatre in Canada: A Mechanism of Decolonization by Sarah MacKenzie, an Anishinaabe/Métis/Scottish, feminist scholar and activist, writes that despite a recent increase in the productivity and popularity of Indigenous playwrights in Canada, most critical and academic attention has been devoted to the work of male dramatists, leaving female writers on the margins.
Thanks for Giving is a play by Kevin Loring, a member of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation in Lytton, B.C. and Nan’s family is home for Thanksgiving, but some unsolicited truths are about to be dropped at the dinner table. Old wounds and new realities collide, and sibling rivalry is stoked, but the enduring spirit that guides this family charges on, ever fierce. Thanks for Giving offers plenty to chew on.
Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer: A Satirical Land Claim Fable is a play about power, politics and procreation by Kevin Loring, a member of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation in Lytton, B.C. Little Red Warrior is the last remaining member of the Little Red Warrior First Nation. One day, he discovers a development company has begun construction on his ancestral lands. In a fit of rage, Little Red attacks one of the engineers and is arrested for assault and trespassing on his own lands. In jail he meets his court-appointed lawyer, Larry, who agrees to help Little Red get his lands back.
Bears is a play by Matthew MacKenzie where he is exploring his family’s Cree, Ojibwe and Métis heritage. In Bears a Métis oil sands worker Floyd is making his way westwards along the Trans Mountain pipeline route beginning in Alberta and travelling west to the Pacific watched by the spirit of his mother and others. Little Cub Floyd who has a love for fresh berries, an aversion to authority and a fascination with bears, is outrunning the RCMP after a workplace accident where he is the prime suspect.
Honour Beat is a play by Tara Beagan who was born in Niitsitapi country and is a proud Ntlaka’pamux and Irish-Canadian. She has written more than twenty plays, and also directs and performs. In Honour Beat, two grown sisters face off over their mother's deathbed. Together they confront one another, their own identities, and what will remain when their mom leaves this world. A contemporary look at the significance of faith and family, Honour Beat evokes both laughter and tears as three women grapple with one of life's most difficult inevitabilities.
Performing Turtle Island: Indigenous Theatre on the World Stage is edited by Jesse Rae Archibald-Barber (Metis/Cree), Kathleen Irwin, and Moira J. Day. Performing Turtle Island cites the TRC Call to Action 83 for Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to undertake collaborative projects and produce works that contribute to the reconciliation process. Acting on this call the two main parts of this work refer to Critical Self-Representation in Production and Training in part I: and, part II Performance in Dialogue with the Text.
Elapultiek / We Are Looking Towards by Shalan Joudry, from the traditional district of Kespukwitk and of both Mi’kmaw and European ancestry, is a play first produced by Two Planks and a Passion Theatre and opened at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts in Canning, Nova Scotia, Mi’kma’ki. The two main characters are Natawintoq (Nat) an early twenties Mi’kmaw drum singer and Bill, a mid fifties, Euro-Nova Scotian biologist.
Redpatch is the story of the fictional character Jonathon Woodrow/Half-Blood and his best friend who served in World War I with the Canadian 1st division on the Western Front of Europe including Vimy. His experiences as a warrior and his hunting and surviving skills are put to the challenge when the war continues without any end in sight and he wonders if he will ever get home again. This play focuses on Indigenous soldiers and communities' contribution to Canada in the First World War. A graphic novel is included.
‘Cottagers and Indians’ is about manoomin, an Anishnawbe ‘good seed’ planted around a lake and which stands above the waterline, but it is also about Gertie, Justin and Marie. The seed causes consternation with cottagers who argue that it is hampering swimming, fishing, boating and property values.
Honouring the Strength of Indian Women is a combination of many efforts inspired by Vera Manuel. Manuel’s dramatherapy groups generated several scripts and selected poems, plays, photos, short stories were collated by University of Manitoba Press First Voices, First Texts and The People and the Text project, from protected and archived works by Emalene Manuel, Vera’s sister.