Reader impressed by “Sacred Canoe” project

April 4, 2019   ·   0 Comments

(Re: Peaceful portage departs on path towards Truth & Reconciliation, March 28)

“The Sacred Canoe is a beautiful example of how history can be brought to life as a tool for education and inspiration. The power of art, theatre and music crosses all cultures and speaks to who we are as human beings and the connection we have to each other.”

This article by Brock Weir, editor of The Auroran, tells an important story in Canadian history.

The indigenous people lived in this land and they had a deep spiritual connection to the land and they respected nature.

Their family structure was very important to them and each family member had roles to play in the community.

The Indigenous people had a functional social structure.

Brock Weir notes that there were three parts of the play and each part told the audience a story of the indigenous people in Canada.

The first part of the play highlights the early relationships between settlers and the native people, where they worked together in harmony.

The second part of the play illustrates the colonization of the Native people and the Indian Act.

Lastly, the third act highlights the Residential School system and the impact it had on the indigenous communities and their children. 

The play involved quite a few students from Sacred Heart Catholic High School.  There was dancing, singing and acting done by the students.  The sets and the canoe were painted by the students.  There were also costumes made up by the students and the outfits did not exceed the cost of one hundred dollars.

Integral in the performance aspect of The Sacred Canoe were Aurora teacher Dawn Ellis-Mobbs, Department Head of Arts at Sacred Heart, and Newmarket Musician Glenn Marais.

At the end of the play everyone in the audience walked away with a deep feeling.  The play was very powerful.

However, if our society today is to reach a goal of truth and reconciliation, knowledge and awareness of these facts in our Canadian history are important and necessary.

Jim Jackson



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