Kaha:Wi Dance Theatre was at Sheridan College on Wednesday to increase awareness of Indigenous Student Services, foster reconciliation, and to invite the Oakville and college community to an upcoming performance of The Honouring at Oakville Performing Arts.
Lindy Kinoshameg from Wikwemikong First Nation and Leslie McCue from Curve Lake First Nation were present at the entrance of Trafalgar campus’ SCAET building, inviting all students and staff to learn moves and dance with them.
A small group joined in circle and potato dances. The potato dance is very intimate and puts two people face to face, holding a potato between their foreheads while stepping moves. It’s competitive, and an opportunity to share that deep belly laugh often heard at First Nations events.
“It’s not the responsibility of First Nations, Metis or Inuit people to take the steps toward reconciliation; it’s all our responsibility. We have to provide opportunities to take those steps, and this is a perfect example of one of those opportunities.”
-Paula Laing, Indigenous Student Services at Sheridan College
The Honouring is a creation of award-winning Artistic Director, Choreographer and Performer Santee Smith.
It tells the story of Onkwehonwe (Six Nations: Original People) families who allied with the British during the War of 1812 to protect their own ancestral lands from settler encroachment.
Victory by the British and French over the Americans between 1812 and 1815 would not been possible without allies from First Nations.
“It’s important for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to be working together and for people to be learning more about our history and our culture,” said Leslie McCue, who has been with Kaha:Wi for over 5 years. “A lot of the time our history is being told for us, but this production about the War of 1812 is being told from an Indigenous perspective. It’s timely and it’s appropriate for us to be telling our story and audiences are loving it.”
Tickets to see The Honouring at Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts at 8pm on Friday March 24 are pay-what-you-can.
These can be reserved on the web at oakvillecentre.ca, or by calling the box office at 905-815-2021.