Teiotiohkwenhahton, Native Immigrant, a 10-day festival is coming to an end this week. I spoke to Carolina Echeverria, founder and director of the Native Immigrant organisation, about the events we can still catch, happening between the 10th and the 15th.
The event features an ongoing exhibit at the Ashukan Cultural Space entitled Beadwork: Visions of Peace, curated by Jason Vallières & Carolina Echeverria and featuring artists like Kakwirakeron R. Montour, Judith Brisson, Roxana Miranda Rupailaf, Christine Brault and Carolina Gana Pepper. This collective art exhibit includes submissions from around the world, including raised beadwork pieces from across the Americas and Europe.
Besides this, Echeverria described tons of interactive activities, including storytelling and conversation groups. She describes the festival as “playful and celebratory.” This past Saturday, they held a welcoming ceremony for their special guest, Chilean Mapuche poet, Roxana Miranda Rupailaf. “We are imagining how immigrants could be received by Mohawks instead of by the system that treats them as foreigners.” She described how they ceremony is about empathy and compassion: the immigrant, in this case Rupailaf was a symbolic immigrant, would tell her story to those who were receiving her.
Similarly to this welcoming ceremony, the rest of the festival revolves along the themes of compassion, understanding and discussion. “We are asking questions about identity, about understanding,” she says. And she wants us to join in. Here’s how you can be a part of it:
Monday, August 10th
17h – 19h Conversational Circles: Speaking Mohawk – Parlons Mohawk.
Tuesday, August 11th
11h – 16h Native Immigrant Dressmaking Activity: the public is invited to bring an object representing themselves and their story of immigration. This object will then be included in the collective dress.
19h Roxana Miranda Rupailaf reading and Christine Brault performance reading, at Café
Mariposa 5434 Cote St Luc Rd, NDG.
Wednesday, August 12th
16h30 Second presentation– KULTRUN OF PEACE La Pena will perform an art action at
the center of the Kultrun.
17h – 19h Conversational Circle: Orihwa’shon:’ a Peace Matters with Mohawk
Traditional Practitioner, Ateronhiata:kon.
Thursday, August 13th
11h – 16h Native Immigrant Dressmaking Activity.
Friday, August 14th
17h – 19h Conversational Circle: Happiest Learning Experience – Participatory
story-telling for the purposes of generating insight into designing the best possible
future for Canadian and Indigenous education.
Saturday, August 15th
11h – 13h THE PEACEFUL HEART Writing Workshop: In the Native Immigrant tradition of
honoring the role that storytelling plays in cultural exchange, the project’s closing
workshop invites participants to reflect on their dreams, hopes and concrete actions.
Free and open to the public; led by writer-editor, Susan Scott.
17h – 19h Closing Ceremonywith Ateronhiata:kon.
Learn more about this great initiative on the Native Immigrant website.