‘Cultural Bullying’

When it is forbidden to identify with someone else, theatre is denied its very nature, it is prevented from performing its primary function and is thus rendered meaningless.

At some point, there has to be a limit to aboriginal sensitivities. After all, ‘tolerance’ — like ‘reconciliation’ — is a TWO-way street:

“‘Indigenous’ {actually, ‘aboriginal’} activists who met with Robert Lepage say the Quebec theatre director did little to address concerns about the lack of ‘indigenous’ input in his upcoming play about Canada’s ‘settler’ history. 

“Charles Bender, a Huron-Wendat actor who was part of the group that met with Lepage on Thursday, said while their opinions were heard during a meeting Thursday, he’s unsure to what extent things will change.

We wanted to pass message along that things shouldn’t be done about us without us,”
said Bender, the producer and president of ‘Terres En Vues’, a Montreal-based association that promotes ‘indigenous’ cultures.
I don’t think we’ve made any headway from that perspective after yesterday’s meeting.”

“‘Kanata’, according to publicity material, aims to tell 

the story of Canada through the prism of relations between ‘whites’ and ‘indigenous’ people.”

“It is scheduled to open in Paris in December. Last Saturday, ‘indigenous’ artists and activists wrote an open letter, saying they worried the production would not ‘properly handle’ {‘present a one-sided version of’} topics such as missing and murdered ‘indigenous’ women, and residential schools…

“Lepage agreed to meet with 34 of his critics Thursday night in Montreal. Filmmaker Kim O’Bomsawin, who also attended the meeting, said it took place at the ‘Société des arts technologiques’ and lasted almost six hours.

“According to O’Bomsawin, Lepage said the casting would not change but he did indicate the production might be changed in other ways. She said the discussion largely revolved around the philosophy of theatre.

Mr. Lepage said that if this play would have started here, of course there would have been involvement in the communities from the very beginning ‘til the end,”
she told CBC Montreal’s ‘Daybreak’.

“But she also added that, to him,

there’s no better way to tell a painful story than have someone else [tell it].”

“Ariane Mnouchkine, whose Paris-based theatre company is putting on the play, was at the meeting and invited an ‘indigenous’ theatre company to see the play and offer criticisms.

I think it was a very sincere invitation,”
O’Bomsawin said.
But some people see it as a [consolation prize]“…

“The ‘Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network’ also issued a statement following Thursday’s meeting, advocating for non-‘indigenous’ people to “pass the mic” at events in the arts, music, film, theatre, and in making decisions that affect ‘indigenous’ people… The group added that the {ideological} ‘problems’ associated with works like ‘Kanata’ extend far beyond the absence of ‘indigenous’ actors.

‘First Nations’{‘Aboriginal communities’}are the stewards and owners of their own stories and information{What racist nonsense…}, should be used in all research and in all creative works regarding ‘indigenous’ peoples.”

“The list of critics of ‘Kanata’ {None of whom have seen the play} is also growing, with more than 500 signatures added to an open letter written by Kevin Loring, a Nlaka’pamux playwright, actor and director from the Lytton ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 2,040 people} in British Columbia…

“He said ‘indigenous’ people have endured decades of oppression, including being portrayed in film, television and novels by people with little to no understanding of ‘indigenous’ histories and realities. Theatre is no exception…

There are people still trying to tell our story for us. And I think we’re just at a point where we’re done with that.” …

{But it’s not just your story, Remember the ‘settlers’? They get to tell their story, too, right? Right?}

“It’s about being in charge of their own narrative, he said, and if that’s shared with non-‘indigenous’ artists, ‘indigenous’ people need to be involved to avoid situations such as ‘Kanata’, where non-‘indigenous’ people won’t only be dressed in traditional garb to represent contact-era relations, but also represent residential school ‘survivors’ {‘former students’} and Vancouver’s downtown eastside…”

–‘Long meeting but little hope as Indigenous activists raise representation issues with Robert Lepage’,
Jessica Deer, CBC News, July 20, 2018
(Jessica Deer is Kanien’kehá:ka {Mohawk} from {racist} Kahnawake. She works in the {segregated} ‘indigenous’ unit and is based in Montreal.)

“In an open letter first published by Quebec newspaper ‘Le Devoir’ Saturday morning,
a group of ‘indigenous’ actors, writers, activists and artists from across the province said they are fed up

of hearing other people tell ‘our’ stories.”

“It was signed by nearly 20 ‘indigenous’ people, including writer Maya Cousineau Mollen, director Kim O’Bomsawin and André Dudemaine, director of ‘Land InSights’, a group that promotes ‘indigenous’ culture and organizes the annual Montreal ‘First Peoples’ Festival.

Some people were consulted by ‘Kanata’s promoters {!}, but we believe that artists from our ‘nations’ would be happy to show their pride on stage in the show. Did ‘Kanata’s directors try to collaborate?
{Write your own damn play!}

“The letter comes in response to an interview published in Montreal newspaper ‘Le Devoir’ with Ariane Mnouchkine, host of the ‘Théâtre du Soleil’ in Paris, where ‘Kanata’ will be presented later this year. In the interview, Mnouchkine said no North American actors are participating…

“They also decried the “invisibility” of ‘indigenous’ people in Quebec and Canada.

{The only minority culture with a segregated, funded national television network {APTN}, and a segregated arm of the CBC {CBC ‘Indigenous’}. How “invisible” is “invisible”?}

Our invisibility in the public space, on the stage, doesn’t help us,”
the letter reads.

We don’t want to censor anyone,”
they wrote.
That’s not part of our beliefs or our way of seeing the world {Nonsense…}. What we want are for our talents to be recognized and celebrated today and in the future.” …”

“According to Lepage’s production company, ‘Ex Machina’, ‘indigenous’ people were consulted during the development of the project and video testimonials from ‘First Nations’ people will be a part of it…

When it is forbidden to identify with someone else, theatre is denied its very nature, it is prevented from performing its primary function and is thus rendered meaningless,”
Lepage said…

–‘Indigenous artists criticize Quebec director Robert Lepage over new show’,
CBC News, July 14, 2018


See also:
No More Peter Pan?{February 27, 2017}:
“Here’s where ‘Reconciliation’ becomes just another word for cultural bullying. At some point, there has to be a limit to aboriginal ‘sensitivities’. After all, ‘tolerance’ — like ‘reconciliation’ — is a TWO-way street…”


Poisoning Children’s Minds’ (Hallowe’en) {November 3, 2017}:
“The message my daughter got was that she could not pretend — could not even imagine herself — to be a Native person. She got the message that a barrier existed between herself and the “Native princess’ she wanted to be — the barrier of race. And nothing could surmount that barrier. Not even a child’s imagination.”

Did Aboriginals Copyright Totem Poles?’ (Tecumseh tribute) {April 27, 2018}:
“Decades ago, some Canadian children made a totem pole in honour of the chief that their school was named after, but because they weren’t aboriginal and didn’t have the permission of certain West coast tribes, the pole must now come down…”

Aboriginal Sensitivity Censors{April 17, 2018}:
“I really advocate that publishers just not publish non-Native writers [writing Native stories] until the reading public of the U.S. and Canada has a firm understanding of ‘indigenous’ histories.”
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