Monday, June 23, 2008

Crow Hop

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The eVOCative Crow Hop at the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company ended with the traditional round dance ... all performers, staff, attending poets, conference organizers, volunteers, supporters & audience linked hand in hand ... the center empty a birthing womb ...

just a couple of hours before Joseph Naytowhow had drummed the space awake with a morning song, cleansed the ear with flute breath love and jigged joy energy to welcome all the relations this summer solstice on National Aboriginal Day in honour of "the broad range of contemporary Aboriginal oralities from storytelling and song to poetry, spoken word, and hip hop" (program notes) ...

Marie Campbell, reading from her in-progress work, honoured Metis women. Her understated, quiet voice, warm from a story told in Cree about a priest and a women, held authority and reverence but most importantly the words were testaments to women history had unwitnessed.

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the mixed bloodlines of families, our tribe, our elders, our mothers & fathers and our children & children to be were honoured by Anishinaabe poet/scholar Kimberly Blaeser. Then backed by her the beats of her brother, Eekwol honoured the rising activist power of Indigenous Plains Cree & Hip Hop. Arms pumped the air in solidarity to all brothers and sisters of the nation. Strong & eloquent Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm read edgy hommages. Surprise guest Gregory Scofield Singing Home the Bones filled the hot crowded room with a palpable sense of pride ... pride of the past ... pride in sharing the missing stories ... pride in language ...

through it all & always with a glint in his eye artist bionic bannock boy from (kept reminding us of this) James Smith Cree First Nation in northern Saskatchewan , Neal McLeod , curator&creator of Crow Hop injected zones of humour, Cree fun, context and respect ... fittingly the final words, Sons of a Lost River, were his for so much of the evening would not have happened without his bold bringing together of this group ...

birth, life & death renewed we spilled out into 22nd Street the drum beat pulsing in our souls ...


- See: Artists
Festival
First Nation

:: note :: ... no more to say ...