How We Got Here

Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre is the first National Indigenous theatre department in the world! Our art is alive—it is shape-shifting and developing as we continue to learn, create, and share with one another. In many ways, its trajectory is tied to the rise of Indigenous activism beginning in the 1960s, marking a shift towards Indigenous self-determination and self-representation. Over the decades, Indigenous folks and organizations across Turtle Island gathered to resist policies and legislation that banned our cultural expression and practices. Out of this refusal, artworks reflecting Indigenous identities and realities emerged, triggering new ways of creating and performing Indigenous theatre.

We have, and continue to, witness our artistic community break down barriers, rise to artistic excellence and embody culturally specific storytelling practices. As Indigenous artists ourselves, we want to bring the joy we feel as dreamers, makers and doers to a wider community. Through all of our initiatives, we aim to foster and preserve Indigenous artistic practices and create welcoming spaces of cultural resurgence and inspiration. We humbly and passionately strive to honour the past and present work of Indigenous performing artists as we build a future together. This work is not over; it is just a beginning.

Dr. Lindsay Lachance
First Artistic Associate for Indigenous Theatre, 2018-2021