Indigenous Theatre

Changing the face of Canadian theatre

Part 1: The Summit


In April 2014 NAC English Theatre gathered together 12 Indigenous artists/leaders from across the country for The Summit at the Banff Centre. This was a three-day conversation about the breadth and scope of Indigenous work created across this vast land. Co-curated by Associate Artistic Director of English Theatre Sarah Garton Stanley and playwright Yvette Nolan, 10 cultural institutions participated in The Summit as “Listeners.”

The NAC’s goal is that The Study should impact broadly on the programming choices being made by theatres across the country, and make it part of vital and necessary steps towards bringing Indigenous approaches and stories closer to the centre of our national expression. Summit Co-Curator Sarah Garton Stanley

The English Theatre at Canada’s National Arts Centre went to The Summit for knowledge, and we travelled there with a desire to engage cultural powerhouses in the work of accessing this knowledge. Sarah Garton Stanley, in her capacity as Associate Artistic Director was charged by Artistic Director Jillian Keiley to construct an engaged and investigative space for questions of Indigenous Theatre in Canada. English Theatre has, since its inception in 1969, had a relationship to the First Nations People of this country. But as with many institutions, our capacity to access and understand the breadth and volume of work being created on this land needed a new look.