Thursday, March 24, 2011
Kevin Lee Burton is a member of the Swamp Cree tribe from God's Lake Narrows in Manitoba, Canada who grew up speaking his ancestral language. Moving to Toronto was a disorienting experience and he would often repeat Cree words to himself so that he did not forget them. Nikamowin, Cree for "song," is a beatbox-style exploration of the connections between land and language.
Also recommended is Helen Haig-Brown's ?E?Anx/The Cave, about a man who comes across a cave that turns out to be a portal to the Tsilhqot'in spirit world. The Cave was made for an international collaboration of indigenous peoples, in which each was assigned a genre outside their usual repertoire. Haig-Brown was given science fiction, an area often noted for its emphasis on exploration, expansion, and the conquest of alien planets. Not wishing to reuse colonialist tropes from the majority culture, Haig-Brown turned inward to depict a world within our own. Unfortunately, I could not find this one online, but do check it out if you ever get the chance.