“Into Mother’s Womb” by Natalie Sappier

Villa Puffs by Falen Johnson

In response to CHAPTER 1: Centering Relationships to End Violence

Audio Directed by Cole Alvis 

Starring Michaela Washburn

Putting your body in the line of potential violence is not a fun feeling. Bravery isn’t a thing that feels good. You are so brave. That was so brave. How brave of you. Being brave never feels fun. Nia:wen to you. To you brave ones.” Falen Johnson

Run time: 9 minutes, 50 seconds

“We Are Star People” by Natalie Sappier

Becoming by Michelle Olson

In response to CHAPTER 2: Indigenous Recognitions of Power and Place

Audio Directed by Katie German 

Starring Reneltta Arluk, Joelle Peters and Michaela Washburn

“I had Chapter 2 – Indigenous Recognition of  Power and Place.  As I worked through the chapter with my heart, head and body, I tried to hold all that was being shared.  I would go to the studio, read, dance, rest and process  the stories and words of the chapter. The themes that were thread throughout addressed  Aboriginal laws, how they are from the earth, the centre of Indigenous  community and how women are the centre of this.   There are so many  stories of loss, pain, violence and the weight of them so hard to hold.  I wanted to create something that would attempt to hold all of it.  The connection of the land to women drew me back to reflect on my community and the gold mining that happens in the territory and how the earth of the land my family has it’s cabin, a miner owns.  Everything that has happened and is happening all comes from the original impulse of colonial violence.  But digging deeper into the earth, there are those Aboriginal laws to hold us, that run deep through our blood and bones.  This is the resurgence, the becoming and the embodied power that is undeniable.” Michelle Olson

Run time: 7 minutes, 31 seconds

“Water Ceremony” by Natalie Sappier

UnBound by Émilie Monnet

In response to CHAPTER 3: Emphasizing Accountability through Human Rights Tools

Audio Directed by Katie German 

Starring Reneltta Arluk, Joelle Peters, Tara Sky and Michaela Washburn

* Please note this piece is a work-in-progress

Run time: 12 minutes, 28 seconds

“We Are Land And Animal Spirits” by Natalie Sappier

Caribou Fence by Yvette Nolan

In response to CHAPTER 4: Colonization as Gendered Oppression

Audio Directed by Cole Alvis

Starring Reneltta Arluk, Tara Beagan and Michaela Washburn

When Donna-Michelle told me I was using Chapter 4, Colonization as Gendered Oppression, as a jumping off point for Embodying, I had to sit and think a long time. We all know the cost of colonization, but to have to drill down, to recognize that colonization was even more oppressive for women … I wondered how to deal with the knowledge without performing our trauma. How could I make this chapter into a way of healing? In the end, it is the art – the dance, the song – the resilience of women – the three women in the room who may have been driven there by the forces of colonization – in this case one of them uses the metaphor of the caribou fence – and the empowering of those women to make to choice to keep going, to be visible, and to be heard.” Yvette Nolan

Run time: 10 minutes, 36 seconds

“Into Mother’s Womb” by Natalie Sappier

the price of us waiting by Aria Evans

In response to CHAPTER 5: Confronting Oppression – Right to Culture

Audio Directed by Katie German 

Starring Joelle Peters and Tara Sky

“For EPP I created a choreographic score that could be interpreted differently based on who was developing the work. I love spectacle, surprise and magic so I imagined and described an installation for the piece to take place within to represent a larger metaphor.

The launching point for how I was digesting Chapter 5 (The Right To Culture) was around what has happened and what is happening now. I played with how we are reclaiming language and since the chapter talked a lot about systems replacing systems, I was drawn to the notion of a cycle represented by a circle and so I worked toward breaking this cycle within the progression of the piece.” Aria Evans

Run time: 4 minutes, 43 seconds

“We Are Star People” by Natalie Sappier

Medicine Wheel by Yolanda Bonnell

In response to CHAPTER 6: Confronting Oppression – Right to Health

Audio Directed by Jessica Carmichael

Starring Cole Alvis, Samantha Brown, Monique Mojica, Joelle Peters and Michaela Washburn

Reading through the report – or at least my chapter (the right to health), I was mostly struck by how much we – as Indigenous women – as 2 Spirit and Queer folks are statistics. We’re numbers. In so many of these commissions and reports and inquiries – we’re depicted as percentages. Statistics. It just felt like there was this outside voice yelling numbers while I was reading names. I wanted to use actual words and numbers from the report in a disjointed way because that’s how it felt to read it. It was hard – it’s always hard reading about yourself and your identity and treatment from what feels like an outside place. I wanted to weave in my own experiences with systemic racism in the healthcare system and ask those questions I still had after reading it. I chose poetry as a vehicle because I find it easier to weave myself in and keep myself safe that way. I wanted to cut right to the heart of what I was feeling and dive into those questions and hopefully it makes other people ask those questions as well.”

Run time: 20 minutes, 36 seconds

“Water Ceremony” by Natalie Sappier

BABY GIRL BY TARA BEAGAN

In response to CHAPTER 7: Confronting Oppression – Right to Security

Audio Directed by Cole Alvis

Starring Tara Beagan, Joelle Peters and Michaela Washburn

“Reports and inquiries seldom give us what we need to move forward. Baby Girl is an offering of hope for all those who are underserved by a system that was never shaped to house them as they deserve.” Tara Beagan

Run time: 17 minutes, 58 seconds

“We Are Land And Animal Spirits” by Natalie Sappier

ARE NOT THESE WORDS TRUE? by Reneltta Arluk

In response to CHAPTER 8: Confronting Oppression – Right to Justice

Audio Directed by Cole Alvis

Starring Reneltta Arluk, Tara Beagan, Joelle Peters and Michaela Washburn

“What I was aiming to capture with this piece for Chapter 8: Confronting Oppression – Right to Justice was to remind the listener that the levels of impact of injustice is generational and familial. I wanted it to also bring awareness to the incredible resiliency of Indigenous girls and women, that without resiliency this final report would be an epitaph not a call to action.” Reneltta Arluk

Run time: 12 minutes, 16 seconds

“We Are Star People” by Natalie Sappier

Dark Matters by jaye simpson

In response to CHAPTER 9: Wellness and Healing

Audio Directed by Jessica Carmichael

Starring Cole Alvis, Samantha Brown, Monique Mojica and Michaela Washburn

Dark Matters was an opportunity to really put my voice, experience and being into the work we all are doing in this. This was my way of claiming a space that has historically excluded so many of my sisters. Let us scream together, refusing to hold in these vast and insurmountable grievances while also reminding folks that we can and should care.” jaye simpson

Run time: 22 minutes, 38 seconds

“In Mother’s Womb” by Natalie Sappier

Dream Girl by Darla Contois

In response to CHAPTER 10: “I am here for justice, and I am here for change”: Commemoration and Coming Forth

Audio Directed by Jessica Carmichael

Starring Samantha Brown, Monique Mojica, Joelle Peters and Michaela Washburn

Run time: 12 minutes, 17 seconds

“We Are Land And Animal Spirits” by Natalie Sappier

Across This Body by Jessica Lea Fleming

In response to CHAPTER 11: Valuing Lived and Front Line Experiences

Audio Directed by Jessica Carmichael

Starring Samantha Brown, Monique Mojica, Joelle Peters and Michaela Washburn

“I created this work in response to ‘Chapter 11: Valuing Lived and Front-Line Experiences’. What continues to reverberate for me is the need to humanize, to unite, to uplift and to highlight our deep-rooted connections. Regardless of the many insidious ways Indigenous people, especially women and 2-spirit folks, live with the forces of colonial oppression, we continue to find strength through one another. We continue to come back to a sacred kinship, and to the generosity of the land, water, animals and spirit world. No matter how our lived experiences may shape us, may have hurt or endangered us, they do not define us. Individually, we are whole humans. Together, we are a force. ” Jessica Lea Fleming

Run time: 21 minutes, 13 seconds

“Water Ceremony” by Natalie Sappier

We Call Upon by Lindsay “Eekwol” Knight

In response to Calls for Justice

Audio Directed by Katie German 

Starring Lindsay “Eekwol” Knight

Run time: 7 minutes, 11 seconds

“In Mother’s Womb” by Natalie Sappier

Embodying Power and Place: Artist Talkback

On Tuesday, April 6th, Native Earth Performing Arts’ Artistic Director, Keith Barker, spoke with three artists from the Embodying Power and Place team – director Katie German and actors Monique Mojica and Tara Sky – about their creative process for this powerful piece of theatre.