On May 27, 2021, news from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation confirmed the discovery of 215 Indigenous children buried at the former Residential School in Kamloops, BC.
As a company with both Indigenous leadership and an interest in supporting youth, this news hits us particularly close to home. We at Concrete Theatre feel this painful loss, and acknowledge that these children represent only a portion of the lives taken by Canada’s Residential School system. The damage that this system has caused lives on in its descendents and weighs heavily on survivors and their families. Change must happen, as this continues to be a part of our lives. Indigenous communities alone cannot undo the harm caused by this system; the full scope of which is still coming into focus for many people across Turtle Island.
At Concrete, we are deeply invested in the young people in our community, and support having difficult conversations that impact us all. As a starting point for these crucial conversations , please consider the following non-exhaustive list of resources:
I Am Not A Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, Illustrated by Gillian Newland
When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett
When I Was Eight by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Art by Gabrielle Grimard
Not My Girl by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Art by Gabrielle Grimard
Stolen Words by Melanie Florence, Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Shi-shi-etko by Nicola I. Campbell, Pictures by Kim LaFave
Shin-chi’s Canoe by Nicola I. Campbell, Pictures by Kim LaFave
Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Artwork by Liz Amini-Holmes
Secret Path by Gord Downie & Jeff Lemire (secretpath.ca)
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (High School)
They Know Not What They Do by Tara Beagan (High School – PDF available at tarabeagan.com)
Indian Residential School Survivors and Family 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Government of Canada- Mental health supports available:
Former Residential School students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada.
Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to The Hope for Wellness Help Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for counselling and crisis intervention.
Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.
Learn more about the reports and findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:
Read through the list of the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:
From The Discourse – Here’s What Non-Indigenous People Can do Right Now:
The Transformations Project
This is a national project in which live performance companies from across Canada are asking some of their favourite artists to approach David Yee’s question in whatever way they see fit.
Commissioned by Concrete Theatre for the national Transformations project, hosted by the National Arts Centre.
These are responses to a provocation by Canadian playwright David Yee: “What would it take to
transform our society for the betterment of all?”
Please visit here to see more works like this:
TRANSFORMATIONS: Like This – Written and Performed by Helen Belay
Side Shave – Text, choreography, performance, and editing by: Richard Lee Thanks to Miranda Allen and Carisa Hendrix
Bullying Stops Here
BULLYING 24 HR HELP LINE: 1-888-456-2323
Get help anonymously 24/7 in over 170 languages
Chat available daily 8 am – 8 pm at alberta.ca/BullyingChat
Call 911 in emergencies
Pink Shirt Day Feb 2021 Transcript
[Video/ Image Description: A solid pink fabric background with a blue Concrete Theatre logo take up the frame. The fabric is then drawn away revealing two people. Corben sits in the centre of a Zoom window on the left side of the screen and Tracy sits in the centre of her Zoom window on the right. They each are wearing pink shirts with blue text reading “Respect.” Corben’s background is made of many colourful squares and Tracy has a blue wall behind her patterned with blue vertical stripes.]
Tracy: Hello, my name is Tracy Carroll (she/her).
Corben: And I’m Corben Kushneryk (he/him).
Tracy: And we are the Co-Artistic Directors of Concrete Theatre.
Corben: At Concrete, we are incredibly passionate about bullying prevention. And if you didn’t already know, February 24th is Pink Shirt Day, a day where we all can all rally against bullying.
Tracy: Bullying can of course happen in person, but during the pandemic, incidents of cyber bullying have increased. At Concrete we feel it’s important to help one another and to treat each other with respect.
(They point at their shirts)
Corben: If you or someone you know is in a bullying situation, you can always call the Bullying Help Line. The number is on the screen. (1-888-456-2323)
Tracy: Getting involved on Pink Shirt Day is easy. On February 24th, go grab your pink shirt, put it on, take a photo of yourself and post it on social media. And don’t forget to tag Concrete Theatre. (@ConcreteYEG)
Corben: Thanks for watching, everyone.
Tracy: Stay well.
Connect with helplines if you or someone you know is experiencing bullying or abuse.