June 18, 2013

1812 survivors take The Road

Charting a New Aboriginal Narrative

By Christopher JonesIt’s not easy cramming three lives and 50 years of history into a one-hour play but that didn’t stop playwright/director Herbie Barnes (above left) from giving it a go. Opening Friday at the Indigenous Arts Festival (June 20 to 22) at Fort York National Historic Site, The Road is based on an ancient photograph of three Six Nations elders who survived the War of 1812 and lived long enough to see Canadian Confederation in 1867, for better or worse.

The Road examines the choices facing First Nations people then and now—whether to adapt and assimilate or to push-back and fight: one of the three characters chooses the middle path of conciliation as a way to resolve the struggle.
Comment:  For more on Native theater, see Sliver of a Full Moon and The Dawes Commission Play.

Below:  "Three of the last surviving Six Nations members who fought in the War of 1812, photographed in Brantford in 1882. Left to right: John 'Smoke' Johnson, John Tutela, and Young Warner." (Library and Archives Canada, C-085127)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is interesting! Thanks for posting!