The 29th edition of the Montreal First Peoples Festival / Festival Présence autochtone de Montréal will take place between August 6 and 14, 2019. Most of the events will be staged at the Place des Festivals, in the downtown area.
The Festival will enhance its international presence by bringing a series of artists and films from other countries’ indigenous communities. The opening title in the movie section will be the documentary by Santiago Bertolino “Mon cri saura parler” featuring the life of Innu poet Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, who has emerged as a star in the literary landscape of Quebec.
On the musical front, there is an expectation about the announced concert featuring Mongolian and Inuit (katajaq) throat singing under the artistic direction of Katia Makdissi-Warren. Within the framework of the Festival, Inuit-art specialized gallery La Guilde / The Guild will present the most recent works by Meky Ottawa, an Atikamekw artist.
In association with the Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Festival will present at various venues, but mostly at the UQAM Gallery, an exhibition focused on bi-spirituality.
Traditional sounds will be brought to the public by the drums of Buffalo Hat Singers and those of the Northern Voice. This will be a show designed as a tribute to the land. The First Peoples Festival is an opportunity for non-aboriginals to learn and to enjoy the expressions of the ancestral cultures of the peoples who inhabited this land before the arrival of the Europeans. It would also be a recognition of those peoples’ resilience and vitality, after years of being ignored or even worse, mistreated.
Besides traditional songs and dances, the First Peoples Festival will also bring an electro concert, film exhibitions, poetry readings, and the opportunity to taste some samples of indigenous gastronomy.
Feature image: The First Peoples Festival, an opportunity for non-aboriginals to learn about the first nations’ culture