“Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way is about our hopes for a good future, guided by principles of our cultural past.”
– Renae Morriseau, Director/Lead Writer
The Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way National Tour is produced by Vancouver Moving Theatre in partnerships with:
- Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre (Vancouver) and in association with EartHand Gleaners; En’owkin Centre (Penticton);
- Native Earth Performing Arts in association with Jumblies Theatre (Toronto);
- Théâtre Cercle Molière in association with Native Youth Theatre (Winnipeg);
- developed with the assistance of Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC), Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival and Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival (Toronto).
Led and performed by indigenous artists, Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way brings to life the story of Old One (Jonathan Fisher) and his journey to reconcile with himself, his family and his community. Old One’s dream-like healing journey unfolds as he opens himself to his memories: of the impact of residential school on his family, the effect of intergenerational trauma on his daughter Nicole (Tai Amy Grauman), the decline of the fishing industry and the resulting loss of a working life on the water.
With humour, games, songs and gifts of hope from Trickster (Sam Bob) and his Ancestors; and with unscripted cultural sharing by youth and cultural knowledge-keepers, Old One witnesses resilience and hope for the future.
Created in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way is more than a story. It is also a passing on of lived experiences, oral history and resurgent cultural practices. Performers are Urban Aboriginal elders, actors and poets who are joined onstage by youth and cultural knowledge keepers from the host territory.
Directed by Renae Morriseau, Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way gives voice to those who have lived within the legislation of the Indian Act and Canada’s long shadow of colonialism. It is a story shared across Canada and Turtle Island.
The production is co-written by Renae Morriseau (Saulteaux Cree) with Rosemary Georgeson (Coast Salish/Sahtu Dene) and Savannah Walling (American Canadian); and enriched by contributions from the cast, knowledge-keepers and partnering communities.
Inside the one-act theatrical play, live music (song and drum), projected images and pre-recorded sound are woven around indigenous storytelling and songs, cultural teachings, authentic languages and the ancient stick game of Slahal.
The performance is scripted, but in every location the event incorporates contributions from unscripted youth and cultural practitioners from the host territory.
Staged in the round, the audience surrounds a large circle divided into four quadrants, representing the four directions of the sacred hoop.
Audiences are witnesses to the sharing of cultural practices, oral history and lived experience.
A half hour of pre-show activity precedes every performance: including slideshows of images of the local territory and song playlist that reflect youth voice (curated by Rose Georgeson with local youth); weaving demonstrations (EartHand Gleaners/Vancouver); visual exhibition (Honouring Our Grandmothers/Cori Derickson/Penticton) and Talking Treaties audio Gallery (Jumblies Theatre / Toronto).
Spring 2018 National Tour
In May-June 2018, this story from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside will be shared with communities across Canada, beginning with performances in Vancouver/Coast Salish Territories. Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way will then travel to Penticton/Syilx Territory, Toronto/Treaty 13 Territory, and Winnipeg/Treaty 1 and Metis Homelands.
In addition to the performances, the Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way National Tour features:
- Cultural healing and truth telling from an Indigenous worldview about reconciliation;
- Cultural contributions by knowledge-keepers and youth from the host territory;
- Pre-show cultural demonstrations and exhibits generated in the the host territory;
- Seeking Voices Workshops where local youth and community participants co-curate pre-show slide-shows and play-lists that reflect people, land and waters of their territory;
- Reconciliation Workshops to discuss what reconciliation looks like for each individual;
- Awareness-building Presentations for the public;
- Educational Resources via publication (school study guide and legacy program guide);
- Multi-media online platform, including documentation and videos.