Working toward reconciliation with Indigenous neighbours takes time and requires building awareness and understanding. Following the report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Justice Murray Sinclair issued this challenge: “We have described for you the mountain. We have shown you the path to the top. We call upon you to do the climbing.”
Representatives of Anglican, United, Lutheran, and Mennonite Settler communities are lacing up for the climb. Muriel Bechtel, a retired Mennonite pastor says, “We are well aware that re-educating ourselves about our colonial history takes courage. We believe building awareness is a vital step in the reconciliation process for churches, governments, and all people who call this land our home.
Four productions of Discovery: A Comic Lament will occur in Waterloo Region from May 31 to June 3. As chair of the planning committee, Bechtel says “Only as we acknowledge our complicity in the displacement and dispossession of Indigenous communities, will we be able to move beyond our paralysis and confusion to deeper listening and action in partnership with Indigenous-led healing and justice efforts. We believe that this drama will inspire and motivate us for the climb ahead.”
The play is produced by Ted & Co., a theatre company that tackles faith and social justice issues through comedic storytelling. Taking a critical look at the Doctrine of Discovery, the play challenges audiences to confront the Doctrine’s lasting impact on Indigenous peoples, and question their own settler stories.
Organizers hope that community members will experience the play and examine their own perceptions on relations with Indigenous neighbours. “This is an issue that we as settlers need to address as we listen to and walk alongside our Indigenous neighbours,” noted Josie Winterfeld, a social justice worker at Stirling Mennonite Church.
While the show is but a single step in a longer journey, organizers anticipate that it will inspire others to continue the forward momentum. Rev. Margaret Walker from St. Georges Anglican Church hopes officials will be among those spurring change. “We look to our elected leaders in the Waterloo Region to join us in taking up the TRC’s challenge and lead by example.”
The play will be performed at 7:30 pm at the following venues:
Thursday, May 31, 2018 - Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, 110 Doon Rd, Kitchener, ON
Friday, June 1, 2018 - Conrad Grebel University College, 140 Westmount Road N, Waterloo ON
Saturday, June 2, 2018 - St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 810 King St. E., Cambridge.
Sunday, June 3, 2018 - Steinmann Mennonite Church, 1316 Snyder's Rd W, Baden, ON
Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. $15/$10 students
For more information contact:
Chair, Ad Hoc Planning Committee