Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Ecstasy of Rita Joe

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This year marks the 20th commemoration of George Ryga's death in 1987, as well as the 40th anniversary of the premiere of The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. The Ecstasy of Rita Joe was the first play in English to be presented in the National Arts Centre Theatre in Ottawa in 1969. For several years afterwards it shook the nation. Chief Dan George wrote in the preface of the first publication, "this play carries a message all Canada should hear."

After dress one Rita Joe actress commented, "I needed to understand situations. I've led a pretty sheltered life and this project took me on a journey of understanding the many First Nation issues. I thought it could never happen to me or in my community. I know it is and if we don't stop it now it'll go on forever. It's not about coming to a play for entertainment - it's a way of seeing other realities." The student next to her responded. "I'm reminded of my Grandmother. She was Metis and a rape victim. My Mom says the guy received a light sentence."

Thank you for coming and supporting. To share with you is our honour.

"People who are forgotten are not forgetting. To overlook them is a dangerous delusion."
- George Ryga

"If the very old will remember, the very young will listen." - Chief Dan George in My Heart Soars.

- See: Theater

:: note :: ... process has a long tortured saga ... three years ago the then administration team deemed an adapted high school project of the Canadian classic inappropriate to perform ... despite a concentrated effort the already in progress project was suspended ... attempts to collaborate with First Nation partner educational institutions largely met with indifference ... a new administrative team provides unbending support and this coming week the community schools have responded by sending over 500 elementary school children to witness two matinees ... thanks to all especially to the spirit of resistance & the struggle for cultural justice that informed the faith of George Ryga ... in his honour and honouring all the marginalized we dedicate our work ... wishing all involved students strength of spirit ...

Saturday, November 03, 2007


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- See: Theater

:: note :: ... Saskatchewan Native Theater Company's Circle Of Voices program completes its first weeks run of their 2007 piece ... Kihew cuts deep into the political/family/spiritual dimensions of the compensation package offered to those who survived the canadian residential school system ... the youthful energy of the group is harnessed in a wonderfully shaped story rich in irreverent humour, resonant in the range of emotions from anger to forgiveness and a soul abundant with message and hope ... the entire production team works with an exquisite touch serving the story which opens our hearts ... we are invited to listen for the complexity of the world, to deal with hidden pain, find a survival song which will sustain and nurture the way and soar into the future with "indian soul" ... much joy and passion to cory, demitrius, deidre, aaron, jaired and danny as they travel the journey of Kihew ...

Friday, November 02, 2007



Travelling an unknown city the controlled panic in the streets forces me to flee. Get out before further destruction results screams an inner voice. I start out on foot as traffic jams block all highways. It is a steep climb.

A short time later am standing before a high rise building. Looming out of nowhere in a sparsely populated hilly region I recall a friend, recently gone through a messy divorce, gave me this address and I ring for entrance. A reassuring voice calls me up. His beautiful one room kitchen/liviing room, large glass windows looking out over the valley seems empty as he rushes out the door. "Will be back later - make yourself at home."

Moving into the two other rooms they are full of beds and cots with no space to move. I select one and fall exhausted to sleep. In the darkness figures move in and out.
Waking I and go out to the kitchen where my friend is eating. We visit when suddenly people rush out of the other rooms shouting at me.

Something is in my bed. Running to the door I see a small but poisonous snake. It must have somehow hid itself in my clothing. It lay poised.

A small talking mouse ran into the room instructing me to be aware as he would lure the snake into a corner. Sure enough the mouse was trapped and I called out for help and watched helplessly as the mouse was swallowed whole. Grabbing the snake I finally received a knife and deftly slit the throat of the snake releasing the mouse which slides out dead.

Both creatures lie dead at my feet.


- See: Dreams