Friday November 22


Nibi (Water) Protectors
by Corey Payette

 “A hero would stand with us. Would stand for what’s right…Is your pay cheque worth more than our clean drinking water?

Corey Payette is proud of his Oji-Cree heritage from Northern Ontario and has worked as a playwright, actor, composer, and director across Canada. He is the Artistic Director of Urban Ink (Vancouver), past Artist-in-Residence with NAC English Theatre, and founder of Raven Theatre.

The Complications of Lyrebirds
by Jasmin Sheppard

The lyrebird adopts the calls of other birds to appear more attractive, but the birds’ authentic identity cannot be mimicked. In the same way, external pressures are thrust upon Indigenous people to prove their ‘blackness’ and adopt certain ways of talking and appearing. But if your family was denied their culture by the impact of colonization, then what really makes you Aboriginal?

Jasmin Sheppard is a contemporary dancer and choreographer, a Tagalak and Kurtjar Aboriginal woman with Irish, Chinese and Hungarian ancestry. Based in Sydney, Australia, Jasmin spent 12 years with Bangarra Dance Theatre, performing in numerous national and international stages. Jasmin uses art to speak for people who are denied a voice and to uncover an untold side of history. Her process is research-based, using historical documentation, poetry and prose and specific non-fiction work as a basis for context. She works in elements of irony and provocation to bring across truth in
a powerful way.

MALI’E | Tåno’ Uchan
by Dakota Alcantara-Camacho

MALI’E | Tåno’ Uchan is a multi-disciplinary embodied meditation on ancestral lineage, belonging, responsibility, and relationship to home/birthland.

MALI’E imagines the traditional Matao practice of embodied, improvisatory collective singing where oral history and prophecy converge. Tåno’ Uchan tells the stories of Chamoru migration to Coast Salish Territory and how Coast Salish life ways, Danza Mexica, hip hop and capoeira inform Camacho’s indigenizing journey.

Dakota Camacho (Matao/CHamoru, Ilokano, European) is a multi-disciplinary artist and researcher working in spaces of Indigenous lifeways, performance, musical composition, community engagement and education. Dakota holds a Masters of Arts in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in Gender & Women’s Studies as a First Wave Urban Arts and Hip Hop Scholar.

by James Dallas Smith

Two Indigenous brothers who haven’t spoken in fifteen years are thrust into a magical place that shouldn’t exist. They are forced to confront deities and mythical beings, their personal failings and their own complicated history in order to save the world. This comedic, fantastical, and historical theatre-musical is a story of reconciliation. 

James Dallas Smith is a multi-disciplinary artist with Anishinaabe (Turtle Clan of the Six Nations Mohawk) and Scottish heritage who has performed professionally nation-wide as an actor, musician, and writer in theatre, music, television, and film for the last twenty years. Although he has participated in several collective/collaborative projects, including performing four times at Weesageechak festival and in Blyth and Native Earth’s productions of Ipperwash, Crossroads will be his first full script. He is ecstatic to be appearing at Weesageechak as a writer for the first time.



Jasmin Sheppard’s The Complications of Lyrebirds, has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.