In two weeks Ottawa will play host to the Mòshkamo Indigenous Arts Festival.
The two week event will feature some of the top Indigenous artists in music, theatre and food.
Buffy Sainte Marie, Jeremy Dutcher, Susan Aglukark and Cody Coyote are among the headlining acts.
The play “The Unnatural and Accidental Women” from director Marie Clement will put missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls front and centre.
The play tells the story of the spirits of 10 women who bear witness to each other’s lives and deaths.
Jennifer Brousseau, an actor in the play, says the work “is a bit heavy — but it’s to start tearing down those walls and to be really honest and raw about our stories.
“Because the only way to heal through this and the only way for change to happen is to be talking through it,” she explains, “and art is an incredible form to bring these through to the open and to the public.”
The play will mark the first production in the first season of the National Arts Centre’s Indigenous Theatre program, led by Artistic Director Kevin Loring.
“We’re going to see some amazing stuff,” he says of the festival. “There’s Buffy Sainte Marie, Susan Aglukark with the orchestra — we have theatre, we have dance, we have a main stage, we have our first ever production as Indigenous theatre…it’s going to be amazing.”
Mòshkamo Indigenous Arts Festival runs Sept. 11-29 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.