The Guswenta Wampum Belt, commonly referred to as the Two Row Wampum, is a mutual treaty agreement created in 1613 between the Haudenosaunee people and the Dutch settlers. The Belt ensures both parties conduct themselves in all proceedings as equals, contemporaries, each traveling in their own canoe without interrupting the other’s path.
Programmed by Falen Johnson and Cole Alvis, the Guswenta Gathering brings Indigenous artists to Soulpepper with presentations of theatre, dance, music and art. Programming will highlight art that speaks to the lands and waterways where The Young Centre for the Performing Arts sits.
CLIFF CARDINAL. A NATIVE EARTH PERFORMING ARTS PRODUCTION. PRODUCED BY CUNNING CONCEPTS & CREATIONS
After his mother’s death, Wind’s fantastic dream world bleeds into reality when he’s preyed on by the Trickster. With biting humour, and raw imagery, Cliff Cardinal’s award-winning solo show shines an unflinching light on life on the Reserve.
Warning: Mature Themes
SANTEE SMITH. KAHA:WI DANCE THEATRE
A solo call for connection, transformation and healing NeoIndigenA is a performance of the soul exploring our relationship to all living entities and elements. It is transcendent and primordial fiercely cycling through sacred portals between Skyworld, Earthworld and Underworld. Santee Smith’s solo journey encompasses past, present, future in one body and space, awakening ancient ways of knowing and spiritual renewal. NeoIndigenA searches for sacred pathways of human connection to self and universe.
IN FIRST PERSON
Six members from different Indigenous communities, ages 30 to 82, perform short autobiographical solo shows using dance, humour, storytelling and song. The show was developed with director Tracey Erin Smith, Artistic Director of SOULO Theatre, with Cultural Consultant Tantoo Cardinal. Performers include: Annie Akavak; Amy Desjarlais; Hilton Henhawke; Rhonda Lucy; Maria Montejo; and Teddy Syrette.
FIRST STORY BUS TOUR
PRESENTED IN COLLABORATION WITH FIRST STORY TORONTO
Toronto’s lands and waterways have been a crossroads for thriving nations since time immemorial. Jon Johnson and First Story Toronto invite you on an interactive bus tour of Indigenous landscapes that activates stories of accomplishment, struggle, and resilience. 3.5 hours, departs from and returns to the Distillery District. Please meet in the atrium of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts.
Bus Tour Guides:
Friday, October 20
Falen Johnson & Sarena Johnson
Saturday, October 21
Jon Johnson & Sarena Johnson
NIITSITAPIISIN / OUR BLACKFOOT WAYS
Join Soulpepper Academy Graduate and multi-disciplinary artist Justin Many Fingers for Niitsitapiisin (Nii-tist-a-pii-sin), a free dance workshop inspired by his practice of Blackfoot Indigenous performing arts. Over several years Justin has worked with elders in his community, examining Blackfoot structures that have existed for over 13,000 years in language, movement and dance, and voice and music. This workshop offers audiences a physical exploration with an Indigenous perspective of a Blackfoot creation and body awareness – please come dressed comfortably for movement.
Spaces are limited; reserve your free ticket now.
> October 21 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
The Guswenta Cabaret showcases local Indigenous musicians and storytellers in an intimate setting. Confirmed cabaret artists include Ansley Simpson, Justin Many Fingers, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Lacey Hill, and more.
SPEAKER SERIES: WAMPUM AND WORLDVIEW
Wampum and Worldview features artists and knowledge keepers as they discuss traditional Indigenous agreements and how these agreements impact their work and worldviews.
Jill Carter (Anishinaabe-Ashkenazi) facilitates a conversation with Aria Evans (Mi'kmaq/African/settler heritage) and Elizabeth Doxtater (Mohawk).
October 18 - 4:00 PM
Free, no tickets required
Michael Young Theatre
SPEAKER SERIES: LAND AND STORY
How does the history of the land we stand on impact art and practice? The second installment of the Speaker Series focuses on land and our relationship to it, including land acknowledgements, ceremony and story.
Cynthia Lickers-Sage (Mohawk) facilitates a conversation with Candace Scott-Moore (Anishnaabe), Drew Hayden Taylor (Ojibway), Richard Scott-Moore (Wadi Wadi of the Yuin Nation) and Spy Dénommé-Welch (Algonquin).
October 19 - 4:00 PM
Free, no tickets required
Tank House Theatre
Visit the Young Centre lobby on the Gathering’s closing weekend for a public Marketplace of Indigenous artists and artisans selling jewelry, clothing and other artistic offerings. Confirmed vendors include Trip Phoenix, Clayton Samuel King, Theresa Stevenson, Jay Soule, and Janet Antone.
October 20 - 1:30 PM to 10:00 PM | October 21 - 1:30 PM to 10:00 PM