Writer in Residence, February 2016 - January 2017
love, intimacy and (com)passion, in a geopolitical context
A monthly series of video, film, performance and ceremony events
Project curator/artist-in-residence Jayce Salloum
No. 1: Ceremonial Activism 101: The Gifting
Taiontenonhwera:ton (to give thanks)
Curated & performed by T'uy't'tanat Cease Wyss and Aaron Rice
Featuring Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde and Nicole Mandryk
Native Education College, February 25, 2016
The words that come before all else. Acknowledgement and giving thanks.
Just behind Prior Street at Hawks Avenue there is a small park that is bisected by the Union Street bike path. It is a place where people gather, walking their dogs or pushing baby strollers, meeting for coffee at the shop on the corner, or simply riding by. In that park, just behind the bus stop on Prior, the land dips gently and if you were to stand in that low place you might notice a chill curling around your ankles. A stream runs beneath the earth here, one of the many arms that flows from stal̕əw̓ (the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ word for “river,” referring to the Fraser River), passing through the land traversed by the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations over thousands of years. Although this stream is now buried, perhaps never to resurface again, it is not difficult to imagine how the waterway provided sustenance and was a place for gathering in ways not dissimilar to how the site functions for those that now call the city of Vancouver home. In this shifting relation of time and space that will for most go unnoticed there is an additional point of connection (and inarguable ingenuity): in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language of the Musqueam people, the word for bus is θi: snəxʷəɬ, deriving from the word snəxʷəɬ, meaning “canoe.” θi: snəxʷəɬ translates to “big canoe.” The Squamish word for “big canoe” is ku7lh. I thank Cease Wyss for sharing this with me.
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