Heart of the Dene Storytelling Festival: Fort Smith
March 9 @ 7:00 pm
Heart of the Dene
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH Northwestel
Maggie Mercredi is Denesoline from Gani Koe’ and is a member of the Kai Taile’ Dene First Nation.With a vivid imagination since childhood, she could visualize the stories heard around her, understanding them, then re-sharing them in her own way. She was introduced to the performing arts as a young adult, inspiring her to learn more about theatre. She joined various performance groups, became a co-founder of an Indigenous theatre group in the North,graduated from the Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto, and completed storytelling and music residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts. With the skills and knowledge gained, she has written, directed, and produced for many venues. She has also coached groups in theatre and performance skills training. Maggie is honoured and excited with the opportunity to write alongside other artists in bringing alive the stories we carry from our language,our ancestors, our parents, our family, friends and communities for the future generations to enjoy,long after we are gone.
David Gon is Tlicho. He was born in Yellowknife and raised in the bush with the traditional way of life. He then moved to Behchoko to start school. He grew up listening to the beat of the drum and watched people dance to the rhythm. He taught himself how to play when he was 12 years old, on a guitar his father bought him. David later formed a band called ‘Captain Eddy’.David has written his own songs and recorded albums of original music. His music is the expression of the value of the old ways as well as the new, using the traditional Dene drum, reflecting early influences and admiration of the wisdom, stories and songs of the land,his ancestors, the Elders and the hopes and dreams of the young people. David has performed at Expo 86 in Vancouver, at the Canada Winter Games in Cape Breton in 1987, at Culture Canada in Ottawa in 1988, and the Arctic Winter Games in 1990.
Cassandra (River) Blondin Burt is a two-spirit Dene Poet, Artist, and Earth Medicine Maker. Their work is grounded in the exploration of healing through co-creation with earth and story. Cassandra believes that the radical act of being in-relation to our other-than-human-relations is an act of political and personal rebellion,and a pathway for collective and personal transformation and healing.Through a deepening relationship with the land-body we call Earth, Cassandra explores regenerative art and creation praxis that allows them to move through myriad contemporary settler-colonial social structures and ideologies with intent, and curiosity.