“Cottagers and Indians” depicts the struggle over water rights in theater

Drew Hayden Taylor is of Aboriginal descent from the Curve Lake First Nation, 170 km northeast of Toronto. One day, one of his acquaintances, James Waitung, decides to plant wild rice in rivers near the reserve and thereby revive a tradition important to his family’s food security.

wild rice, or manumin In Ojibwa language, still remains an important food for the Ojibwe, who sow and harvest it in the Great Lakes and Lake Winnipeg watersheds Indicates the Canadian Encyclopedia.

Problem: The owners of the cottages near Curve Lake First Nation don’t see things the way James Waitung does. Water-grown rice hinders boating, fishing or swimming, causing various inconveniences to these owners and reducing the value of their home.

start a conversation

It’s like a fight between the two sides, explains Genevieve Steele, who plays Maureen Poole, a chalet owner.

The play, which sometimes adopts a humorous tone, shifts this genuine controversy to the stage and allows the public to question themselves on issues that resonate with the news: food sovereignty, property rights, economics over reserves. chance. , racism, privilege, etc.

Genevieve Steele hopes the public will leave the theater start a conversation.

It’s not a play to repair, but at least we’re starting to discuss it, or the original characters on stage., he continues.

“Cottagers and Indians” performances at the Watermark Theater from September 8 to 25. The play has also been adapted into a documentary aired on CBC Gem. (new window).

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