This has been our week to learn about the Native American reservation here in Quebec, Wendake. We were able to visit the traditional village and learn a little of the history of the Huron-Wendat people, and even attend a Pow-Wow, which brings together a large community for ceremonial dances, songs, and crafts.
As it happens, there is a member of the Huron-Wendat Nation in the cast of Totem. Christian Laveau is one of the singers in the show, and he consulted with Robert Lepage as Totem was being created, to keep its imagery of Native American culture as accurate and respectful as possible. As the dances, music, and clothing of the people represent their spirituality, great care has been taken to make sure they're not caricatured. You can read an interview with Christian, and our other Native American performer, Nakotah, here.
The children and I loved everything that we learned about this week, and it seemed fitting that the Play Area recently constructed at the Totem site should contain a teepee. Here are Baz, Ayla and Isa with their friend Gypsy.