Maamawi is an Ojibway word meaning “bringing together,” or just “together,” as it applies to things that are alive — water, plants, animals, birds and fish and humans.
Maamawi is a collaborative theatre project that combines ancient stories of this land and of Indigenous spirituality with stories gathered from our region to create theatre with and for our community that is place-based, meaningful, and that brings us into discussions about a new national narrative on reconciliation and just relationships with each other and with the Earth.
From May 6th through the 10th Debajehmujig storytellers will visit our region to simultaneously tell their ancient stories and gather stories from our community. They will use storytelling workshops and theatre to engage a broad cross-section of people in a community-wide learning opportunity about our relationships with each other and with the land and reconciliation in the Canadian and local context.
By sharing their ancient stories and teachings and gathering stories from our community, the Debaj storytellers will help us to reflect on our individual and shared beliefs, values and worldviews that influence our attitudes and actions. By focusing on our relationships with each other and with the land, and creating an understanding of our common path forward this project will support both reconciliation and increased engagement in climate action; two essential elements of a just path forward.
Climate change is more than a technological or economic problem; at its core it’s a relationship problem resulting from a breakdown in our relationships with each other and with the land. Debajehmujig’s storytelling and theatre will create opportunities for authentic interactions amongst highly diverse groups in our community, resulting in the building of trust relationships and discovering common ground. Our project is a local place-based response to a global emergency.
The project is led by the Indigenous storytelling experts Debajehmujig Theatre Group and a local advisory circle lead by Amy Smoke (Mohawk Six Nations) and local Indigenous theatre artist and community animator Heather Majaury (Algonquin Anishinaabekwe).
Heartfelt thanks to our funders and project partners: Ahwenehaode – Indigenous Justice, Pins and Needles Fabric Company, The United Church of Canada Justice and Reconciliation Fund, The City of Kitchener, The City of Waterloo, The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, Parkminster United Church, LSPIRG, Interfaith Grand River, The Working Centre, YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo, rare Charitable Research Reserve, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and the University of Waterloo Theatre of the Arts.