4th Annual

Gchi Dewin
Indigenous Storytellers Festival

Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2018

Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, Parry Sound, Ontario

Co-presented by

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Come enjoy a very special festival packed with traditional and contemporary Indigenous storytelling for the entire family.

Gchi Dewin means “Big Heart”
in the Anishinabe language.

What is the Gchi Dewin
Indigenous Storytellers Festival?

Building on over three decades of combined diverse successful arts programming presentation by ReZ’91 Radio and MUSKRAT Magazine, the Gchi Dewin Collective has come together to present the annual Gchi Dewin Indigenous Storytelling Festival with the goal to generate awareness and build audiences for the rich Indigenous storytelling traditions.

Our mandate is to build cultural awareness and meaningful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and youth through traditional and contemporary storytelling.

Gchi Dewin means “Big Heart” in the Anishinabe language. Storytellers are individuals with ‘big hearts’ because they listen, hold, and share traditional knowledge with the community.

Indigenous art and culture in Ontario- and indeed the world- is founded in its oral storytelling traditions. The Collective recognizes that Indigenous identity is rooted in the land and that our stories convey our entire local histories and worldview.

Our work is important because generations of storytelling traditions have been uprooted by the negative impacts of colonization and the Gchi Dewin Indigenous Storytellers Festival reclaims, revitalizes and advances this traditional arts practice.

The Festival explores innovative ways of interpreting oral literature, history, language significance and Indigenous culture through storytelling presentation in traditional, on-line, and broadcast formats which contributes to building cultural awareness on local, national, and international levels.

Friday
November 30, 2018
Winter Storytelling Show

FREE!

7:00pm – 9:00pm (Doors open at 6:30pm)

It is with big hearts that we welcome this year’s

Storytellers

  • John Rice
    John Rice Host, Storyteller & Knowledge Keeper
    Read Bio

    Zahgausgai zhinkaazo, Mukwa Dodemim, is an Ojibwa/Anishinabeninni and a 3rd Degree member of the Three Fires Midewiwin Society from Wasauksing First Nation. John’s Midewiwin Education began in 1982 and is ongoing. He has made it a life passion to study the “MIikaans” Teachings which are about the whole development of the human before, during and after life. John generously shares his knowledge throughout the region. He currently works as part of the Early Psychosis Intervention Team at CMHA in Barrie. His past work experience includes work as the Elder/Healer at the Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene and Fenbrook Medium Institution near Gravenhurst, Ontario He has been a part time lecturer at Georgian College in Barrie. John travels internationally and is a well-respected teacher and Elder in the Anishinabe Nation.

  • Digging Roots
    Digging Roots Musical Guests
    Read Bio

    Digging Roots is a Canadian musical group, consisting of husband and wife duo Raven Kanetakta and ShoShona Kish, whose musical style blends folk-rock, pop, blues and hip hop influences. They won the Juno Award for Aboriginal Album of the Year in 2010 for their album We Are…. Kanetakta is originally from Winneway, Quebec, while Kish is from the Batchewana First Nation. Formed in 2004, the duo released their first album seeds in 2006. The album was a nominee for the Aboriginal Album of the Year Juno at the Juno Awards of 2007. They followed with We Are… in 2009, which featured collaborations with Tanya Tagaq, DJ Bear Witness of A Tribe Called Red and Kinnie Starr, who also produced the album. Their third album For the Light was released in 2014. They won the Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for Best Group in 2007.

  • James Whetung
    James Whetung Manoomin Wild Rice Revitalization
    Read Bio

    Traditional knowledge keeper, and author James Whetung is the founder of Black Duck Wild Rice (BDWR) a family run community-based social enterprise for wild rice processing. James and family have been long-time advocates for wild rice and its place in developing a more local/regional diet; one that is based off of what this “place” has to offer.  BDWR provides “green” seed for other First Nation communities wishing to re-establish/ restore their traditional manoomin beds within their traditional territorial waterways. James Whetung’s wild rice revitalization sparked controversy with local cottagers who oppose his actions and inspired the play Cottagers and Indians.

  • Vance Banzo
    Vance Banzo Comedian
    Read Bio

    Vance Banzo is an award-winning actor and comedian based in Toronto. His sketch troupe, Tallboyz II Men, was a featured part of the OFF-Just For Laughs Festival. An alumnus of the Humber School of Comedy, he can be seen recently on The Beaverton. Banzo is a band member of Fishing Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan. Indian Horse (2017) is his feature film debut.

  • Lena Recollet
    Lena Recollet Comedian
    Read Bio

    Lena is from Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve and is a multidisciplinary artist, based in Toronto. She is a member of the Indigenous women’s comedy troupe, Manifest destiny’s Child. Lena opened for Buffy Sainte-Marie in 2011 at Phoenix Concert Hall before releasing her first album “I Am Woman, Kwe”. Which went on to receive a Native American Music Award, 2013 for Best Spoken Word Recording and one medal for Debut Artist of the Year. She is also an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards 2012 Triple Nominee: Best Album Cover Design (w/ Ireva Photography), Best Pop CD and Best New Artist. An actress and writer in film: Lena won the Cynthia Lickers-Sage Award for emerging talent from the ImagineNative Film + Media Festival (2006) for her film Eggs Instead. Theatre highlights include: Annie Cook in The Rez Sisters (Centre for Indigenous Theatre) at the Hart House Theatre.

Short films, Giveaways and more!

Saturday
December 1, 2018
Cottagers and Indians

FREE!

7:30pm (Doors at 7:00pm)

play_cottagers

Gchi Dewin Indigenous Storytellers Festival presents the Tarragon Theatre production of Cottagers and Indians

By Drew Hayden Taylor

Cottagers and Indians takes a sincere and pragmatic look at the current conflicts between First Nations traditional water usage and property owners in cottage country who are looking to enjoy an undisturbed summer getaway.

Remount directed by Melody Johnson
Originally directed by Patti Shaughnessy 

Cast:
Herbie Barnes
Brooke Johnson

Set Design, Robin Fisher
Costume Design, Sage Paul
Lighting Design, Nick Andison
Sound Design, Beau Dixon
Stage Manager, Kate Redding

Friday
November 30, 2018
Beautiful Land Film Festival

FREE!

10:00am
Earth Program

Kayak to Klemtu

Directed By Zoe Hopkins
Imaginative 2017 Audience Award Winner

14-year-old Ella is determined to travel the length of the Inside Passage, along the shores of the Great Bear Rainforest by kayak in order to testify against a proposed pipeline that would see oil tanker traffic through her beloved homeland waters. She’s prepared to handle all of the challenges the wildlife, the weather, the water, and her gear have to offer up. The most challenging of all is that she has to bring her dysfunctional family with her. Her neurotic aunt, her cranky uncle, her wayward cousin, and the memory of her late uncle all come along for the ride to make it a fun and amazing adventure. From Tla’Amin to Klemtu, BC, this family navigates their blend of cultures and desires, while their spirits honour the coast as a place for each of us to call home and protect.

About the Director

“My approach to storytelling is to speak from my heart,” says Zoe Hopkins. Born in Bella Bella, British Columbia, of mixed Heiltsuk and Kanien’kéhaka (Mohawk) ancestry, Hopkins got her start in cinema as a child actor in the 1991 feature drama Black Robe, and made her directorial debut at Sundance with the 2004 short Prayer for a Good Day. She’s gone on to direct both drama and documentary, and her first feature film, Kayak to Klemtu, based on Indigenous resistance to tanker traffic along the coast of Great Bear Rainforest, won the Air Canada Audience Choice Award at the 2017 edition of the imagineNATIVE Festival.

FREE!

12:30pm
Unstoppable Program

Fractured Land

What would it be like to live alongside one of the shapers of human events, in their youth, before they transformed history? In Fractured Land, we follow Caleb Behn, a young Dene lawyer who may become one of this generation’s great leaders, if he can discover how to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him, blending modern tools of the law with ancient wisdom. As 350.org founder, Bill McKibben, puts it, “Anyone who can throw a hatchet and sue you is a force to be reckoned with.”

Full Schedule

Friday, November 30, 2018

Our Beautiful Land Film Festival

10:00am – 12:00pm
Earth Program

Kayak to Klemtu
Directed By Zoe Hopkins
Imaginative 2017 Audience Award Winner

14-year-old Ella is determined to travel the length of the Inside Passage, along the shores of the Great Bear Rainforest by kayak in order to testify against a proposed pipeline that would see oil tanker traffic through her beloved homeland waters. She’s prepared to handle all of the challenges the wildlife, the weather, the water, and her gear have to offer up. The most challenging of all is that she has to bring her dysfunctional family with her. Her neurotic aunt, her cranky uncle, her wayward cousin, and the memory of her late uncle all come along for the ride to make it a fun and amazing adventure. From Tla’Amin to Klemtu, BC, this family navigates their blend of cultures and desires, while their spirits honour the coast as a place for each of us to call home and protect.

12:30pm – 2:30pm
Unstoppable Program

Fractured Land
Directed by Damien Gillis and Fiona Rayher

With some of the world’s largest fracking operations on his territory, a young indigenous leader and lawyer confronts the fractures within his community and himself as he struggles to reconcile traditional teachings with the law to protect the land.

7:00pm – 9:00pm
Winter Storytelling Show

WINTER STORYTELLING SHOW, INDIGENOUS APPETIZERS + FESTIVAL MARKET

Doors open at 6:30 pm

Host, John Rice

Juno Award winning, Digging Roots
Stand up comedians, Vance Banzo and Lena Recollet
Manoomin Wild Rice Revitalization Movement, James Whetung

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Cottagers and Indians

7:30pm
Cottagers and Indians

Doors at 7:00pm

Gchi Dewin Indigenous Storytellers Festival presents the Tarragon Theatre production of Cottagers and Indians by Drew Hayden Taylor

Cottagers and Indians takes a sincere and pragmatic look at the current conflicts between First Nations traditional water usage and property owners in cottage country who are looking to enjoy an undisturbed summer getaway.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Rez Radio Anishinabemowin

Showtimes
9:30am
12:30pm
5:30pm
7:30pm

Tune into ReZ.91.3 FM or live stream at www.rez91.com to hear a special Indigenous radio documentary.

In this special podcast of Red Man Laughing hosted by Anishinabe Comedian Ryan McMahon we bring you to Anishinaabe Wild Rice harvester, James Whetung’s Manoomin Camp to hear about his commitment to ricing, his inherent right to do so and we investigate the brewing conflict between Indigenous rights and cottage country. The collision between the inherent Indigenous hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering & harvesting rights and Canada’s cottage country is a conversation no one is ready for and one that the government cannot afford to ignore any longer in this country.

Festival Location

Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts

2 Bay Street, Parry Sound, Ontario

Miigwetch / Thank you
to our

Sponsors