Misabi (Chinook Winds 1997)

Banff Centre for the Arts - Indigenous Arts Program

1997, 15:03 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 2031.08

Misabi is a new work created by Christine Friday O'Leary. The dance is inspired by a legend of her ancestors and takes the viewer on a journey from the beginnings of her people through to current Aboriginal concerns. "The journey begins over 10,000 years ago when volcanoes were erupting and giants roamed the earth, creating the mountains, lakes, and forests of Temagami. The descendants of the giants, the Teme-Augama Anishnaabe, understand the significance of the forest: it is where the life spirit arrives; it is how life is sustained on earth; it creates balance in the human spirit and it provides the passage 'Chi Baigan' to leave the earth.

During recent history, the development of technology, along with mining, clear-cutting of the forest and confinement of Aboriginal people to reservations, has reduced the ability of the Teme-Augama Anishinaabe to manage the land. From traditional family grounding through the 'Feast of the Ancestors', territory is regained."
- Christine Friday O'Leary

Chinook Winds is perhaps the most active and creative dance study and performance program for Natives in the hemisphere. The Aboriginal Arts Program and the intention of the Chinook Winds Aboriginal Dance program was to create a safe working space, build community and respect for the individual and their process of learning.

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