Thursday November 17


by Samantha Sutherland

kaqwiⱡȼi (gackwithl-see) was created as a way for Samantha to deepen her understanding of her native language, Ktunaxa.  By translating Ktunaxa words into movement, she tells stories spoken by her elders and relatives.  We follow her journey of learning a new language, and see the fear and empowerment that brings. 
Creator and Performer Samantha Sutherland 
Mentor Aria Evans

Samantha Sutherland is a contemporary dance artist, choreographer, and teacher based in Tkaronto. Her ancestry is Ktunaxa and Scottish/British Settler. She graduated from the Arts Umbrella Dance Diploma Program in 2018. She has worked as a guest artist with Ballet BC and an associate artist with Red Sky Performance. Samantha has presented choreographic works in the Matriarchs Uprising Festival by O.Dela Arts, and the Indigenous Arts Program at the Paprika Festival. Samantha explores what aspects of her culture, history, and traditional knowledge can be pulled into her contemporary dance practice. She questions how she can use a dance practice built with a fairly euro-centric training, and still honour Indigenous values and the act of decolonization. She strives to keep what she values and loves about classical training and use it to tell the Indigenous story.


by Jeanette Kotowich

A creative return to the fast-flowing landscape of Saskatchewan, the robust and undulating land of my grandmothers’ mothers and great-great grandfathers. Kisiskâciwan is a journey to one’s self. Conceived and performed by Jeanette Kotowich, in collaboration with Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, it speaks through dance to a Métis cultural narrative of identity, land and home.

Through memories of my childhood summer, embraced by the Kah-tep-was (Nêhiyaw for river that calls) valley, the vast prairie and gently rolling landscape has echoed its lasting impression and whispered a language of inspiration. Kah-tep-was is a two-kilometre wide, 180-metre deep valley is a sacred place that calls generations of peoples for gathering, hunting, and spiritual replenishment.

Creator and Performer Jeanette Kotowich

Creative Producer, Outside Eye Deanna Peters/Mutable Subject 
Lighting James Proudfoot (lighting for Vancouver premiere and Montreal performances) 
Sound Design Kathleen Nisbet (fiddle, vocals) 
Sound Wayne Lavallee, Moe Clark, Brady Marks 

Special Thanks to: Native Earth Performing Arts, Graham Kotowich, Lisa Gelley, Raïna Von Waldenburg, Emily Solstice Tait, Stéphanie Cyr, Kelly McInnes, Jono Kim, Chengyan Boon, Sharai Mustatia 

Past Mentors: Carlos Rivera, Michelle Olson, Charles Koroneho 

This piece has been supported by Boca de Lupo, The Dance Centre, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Raven Spirit Dance, Art Holm, Morrow, Tangente, Tanzmesse International, Dance Saskatchewan Inc, Canada Council for the Arts 

Originally from Treaty 4 territory Saskatchewan, Jeanette Kotowich creates work that reflects Nêhiyaw/Métis cosmology within the context of Indigenous performance, Indigenous futurism and contemporary dance. Her creations have been presented at theatres and festivals across so-called Canada, including Kwê at Matriarchs Uprising and The Dance Centre’s Dance In Vancouver. During the pandemic, Jeanette’s been creating a series of short experimental dance films and has been artist-in-residence at Raven Spirit Dance, NAC Indigenous Theatre, and The Dance Centre. In the summer of 2020, she conducted land-based research in her home province of Saskatchewan, fusing interdisciplinary collaboration, de-colonial practices and embodied research towards the creation and premiere of Kisiskâciwan which is touring far 2022 Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. I reside as a guest on the Ancestral and unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ/, and Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territories, colonially known as Vancouver.