Native Performance Culture and the Rhythm of ReConciliation: Re-Membering Ourselves in Deep Time [Renewal]

As a nation built on the Doctrines of Discovery, Extinguishment and Terra Nullius, Canada’s existence, as an internationally recognized sovereign state, relies upon a rigorous and methodical campaign to sanitize the present moment of Indigenous presence and eventually to erase all traces of Indigeneity from living memory. Resisting such erasure (in place, historical memory, or cognitive space), Indigenous artists and activists are scripting interventions for myriad “stages” through which to dislodge colonization from the Indigenous body and through which to excise the psycho-spiritual scars that affect the many survivors of relocation, re-education, the sixties scoop, forced sterilization, etc.

Our membership is committed to facilitating such interventions; hence, we seek to plunge ourselves into “deep time,” so that we may devise works in the present moment that build legacy for future generations. It is only through painstaking engagement with the tangled history of settlement that future conciliation might be operationalized. To facilitate such conciliation in our own work, members of the Jackman Humanities Institute's Deep Time Working Group have (since 2016) embraced opportunities to explore and test out the means by which to mediate possible sites (topographical, cognitive, ceremonial, and performative) of profound encounter and renewal. Additionally, we will seek opportunities to meaningfully offer our skills, time and physical labor to support Indigenous community projects that work to strengthen Indigenous individuals.


Jill Carter, Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies
Myrto Koumarianos, Ph.D. candidate, Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies

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