Montreal First Peoples Festival announces its lineup
Montreal First Peoples Festival – From an outdoor interactive theatre show to various musical expressions, to movies by aboriginal filmmakers or touching themes related to indigenous peoples, all of these activities are part of the program of the Montreal First Peoples Festival which will take place from August 2 to 9. This year edition of the festival—the 27th—will also connect to the celebration of the 375th anniversary of Montreal, in particular with an emphasis on the notion of reconciliation already outlined by Mayor Denis Coderre and the Assembly of First Nations, Quebec and Labrador section.
Most of the events will take place in the Quartier des spectacles area, especially in the Place des Festivals (a site known as Makusham in the language of the people who were living there). One of the main events there will be the interactive theatre piece “Ioskeha and Tawiscara: the Great Game of Creation” which will have three shows and will feature a cosmological vision of the Aboriginal people who used to live in what is now Montreal.
During the five days of the festival, there will also be demonstrations of Aboriginal cuisine, concerts and native dances. One very significant section will be devoted to film. Movies from different parts of the world made by indigenous authors or having an aboriginal theme will be presented. Among the films to be shown during the festival, one that seems particularly interesting is the documentary “Martirio” on the massacre of the Guarani-Kaiowa people of Brazil. “Tribal Justice” by American filmmaker Anne Makepeace (nominated for an Oscar in 2000) also seems to attract attention given the topic it addresses. “Zach’s Ceremony” by Aaron Petersen focuses on the issue of reconnection with one’s identity on the part of a young aboriginal who had grown up in an urban environment. “Icaros: A Vision” is not a documentary but rather a psychoanalytical and hallucinatory fiction focused on the quest on the part of some North Americans for some kind of absolute in the Peruvian Amazon trying to experience the effects of ayahuasca a very powerful hallucinogenic plant.
There will also be free film presentations organized by the FOFA Gallery of Concordia University: the Tillutarniit Courtyard Film Festival. Screenings will begin at sundown on August 3, 4 and 5, preceded by Inuit games, prizes, country food and music.
A parade of representatives of aboriginal peoples from different countries living in Montreal will take place at Place Gamelin. This festival has the support of the three levels of government. Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly sent this message to the organizers: “No relationship is more important to our Government than our relationship with Indigenous Peoples. That’s why, as we celebrate Canada 150, we are proud to support activities that help Canadians get to know Indigenous cultures better. Congratulations to the organizers of the Montréal First Peoples Festival, who are helping thousands of visitors create connections with Indigenous Peoples and discover their heritage, culture, traditions and unique contributions to Canada.”
For detailed information about the First Peoples Festival / Présence autochtone visit the website www.presenceautochtone.ca