Students from Xit’olacw Community School and Pemberton Secondary School participated in a day long workshop on November 21, utilizing the games and exercises of Theatre for Living to explore what reconciliation means.
Me personally? Stage-shy. So I can’t think of anything more vulnerable than playing improv theatre games. Doing that on highly-charged topics like reconciliation – wow. Hats off to all the participants. But, as Chandler says, the power of theatre is that “it puts life up there. Everything is bigger on stage, so it helps you look at it and think about it. I also think one of the things that is powerful about Theatre for Living is that it’s the people living the issues who are performing.”
River Chandler, Artistic Director and workshop leader, also shared some of the Theatre for Living tools and insights at the Wellness Gathering, with a good-spirited group of volunteers, including Joanne John, Martina Pierre, Craig Dan, Russell Mack, Sheldon Teatreault, Tanya Richman, and more. Here, River shares a report from the intensive workshop with the students, as well as images shot by PSS photography students of the experience.
We explored reconciliation in terms of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the impact of residential school.
We also talked about reconciliation in our relationships with others—friends, family, teachers—about moments when something goes wrong, and how we might restore friendly relations.
The participants were thoughtful, creative and courageous – they took a lot of risks in the exploration.
At the end of the workshop, participants wrote and drew what reconciliation means to us. Here are some of their words:
“To me, reconciliation is bringing people together after conflict. So the white people apologizing to First Nations people and continuing our community together.”
“Accepting and moving on, on what you went through, by having a fun hobby or doing family stuff. Anything that makes you feel better.”
“Reconciliation is reaching a destination despite the obstacles put out in front of you. It’s a tree that grows back after a tremendous forest fire.”
“To me bannock is really, really good. Reconciliation is totally the same as bannock because they are both good.”