The Global Savages - Magnetic North Theatre Festival
The Global Savages have travelled to Ottawa to spend the week telling their stories at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. The experience began with a Sunrise Walk Arrival on Saturday morning, starting at the Sentier des Voyageur with a welcome from a local Elder. The group of about 25 people made their way to the water’s edge to offer tobacco to the Ottawa River, then proceeded past the Museum of Civilization to the Alexander Bridge.
Crossing the river as the sun peaked over the horizon, we made our way up to Nepean Point where our arrival came to an end and we shared strawberries with our welcoming guests. We were honoured to be joined by colleagues and friends Brenda Leadlay, Jillian Keiley, and Sarah Stanley, as well as to meet Jennifer, Marc, May, and many others for the first time.
During the week we set up our storytelling fire at a beautiful location beside the locks at the Bytown Museum. Cedar tea was brewed during the performance to share with the audience who lingered afterward to remain in the storytelling space longer. We were thrilled with the turnout at each of our performances, as well as the level of conversation that ensued afterward. Tabitha Peltier has brought her own qualities and understanding to the role of Sky Woman and gave us very powerful performances. Also new to this production was young Jesse Wabegijik who performed the role of Mudjeekawis with naivety and sincerity.
While in Ottawa, Ron Berti joined a panel moderated by Joel Bernbaum called ‘Keeping it Genuine: The Power & Dangers of Community Engagement’. Other panelists include Darcia Parada, Susan Leblanc and Michael Wheeler. Lively discussion with a great deal of opinion from delegates animated this conversation.
Also during the week, a screening of the Debajehmujig media project Elder’s Gone AWOL took place at the Bytown Museum to an entertained and appreciative audience.
The Global Savages were respectfully treated wherever they went in Ottawa, and people seemed to genuinely want to engage with them. On more than a few occasions, audience members came up to cast members after the show to ‘apologize’ for what their church or government had done to Canada’s Indigenous people.
The Global Savages will continue sharing their stories with upcoming performances in Halifax at the Prismatic Festival in August, and in Antwerp Belgium in September.