More On Old Earth Productions At TRC-Canada National Event Edmonton, March 27-31, 2014

February 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

February 27, 2014, The following was provided by Darlene Auger:

The impetus of the play “A Musta Be: Maskihkiy Maskwa Iskwew (Medicine Bear Woman)” came from a Native woman who was incarcerated for murdering a white man – she did life in prison. During her time in prison she witnessed the intergeneration effects of incarcerating women (mothers) on their daughters. What she saw was little girls coming to the prison for years to visit their mommas and then in later years, they themselves would also end up in prison. At a seminar hosted by the University of Alberta, she put out a call to the people to do something about this intergenerational phenomena of incarcerating Aboriginal women. (The inheritance that is a result of the incarceration of Aboriginal Women struck everyone as being similar to that of those who are themselves or who are related to those who are victims-survivors of 60’s Scoops).

A member of our theatre company (Christopher Grignard) heard the call and brought it to the attention of the rest of the members and so we set out to write and produce a play with Jane Heather, a local Playwrite and Drama Professor at the University of Alberta. Our theatre company prides itself on working with our community members to . Our theatre company prides itself on being the voice of those less heard and to bring to the stage the issues that affect the Aboriginal community.

We performed the play in 2008 and people who came to see it wanted us to tour the play to Native communities around the province. Hence our current project entails a tour to 4 communities, 2 readings (one of which is at the TRC-Canada National Event in Edmonton, March 27-31, 2014) and 4 full productions at the Timms Centre for the Arts in Edmonton, Alberta.

The play follows 4 Aboriginal women through their lives and experiences with genocide, Indian Residential Schools, the Child Welfare System and incarceration and how these institutions (and the implications of these institutions) get passed down to the following generations.

We do not mention the 60’s Scoop at all in the play; however, soon after we performed this play the first time, the Director of “Creating Hope Society” in Edmonton asked OEP to write and produce a play solely about the 60’s Scoops. We have started working on this and we hope to and it would be great to have your story and that of Henry Desjarlais, The 1st USA Placed Victim-Survivor of Canada Scoops to be recognized by USCIS and TRC-Canada, incorporated into the play!! We find that plays are a great medium for creating awareness and social change!!

Our current play: A Musta Be: Maskihkiy Maskwa Iskwew (Medicine Bear Woman) has garnered a lot of interest in the community and we are keen to get it out there! We always have a talk back session after each show to give people an opportunity to share their experience with us (the Actors) and with each other (the audience). This is the reason why I fought to get us onto the TRC agenda. The discussions after the show will be recorded and archived into the TRC archives, similar to the testimonies/statements that people are giving to TRC.

I hope this clarifies any questions you may have about our reading of the play at TRC. TRC has given us one hour and so we had to make a decision on what we can do in that short period of time. Hence, we will read a portion of the play (certain relative scenes) and then have the sharing/discussion session. The whole workshop will be recorded and archived for TRC.

If you do come to TRC, I hope you will come hear the reading and take part in the discussion for the record. It would be so awesome to have you there!

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