New play asks Indigenous Peoples whether to stay the course or chart a new path

Source: 
APTN News (Canada)
Pub Date: 
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 07:17

Jolene Banning
APTN News
The world premiere of The Third Colour, a thought provoking but funny new play by Anishinaabe playwright Ian Ross is on stage now at the Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg.

The Third Colour follows two spirits that take the shape of Indigenous women, Agatu and Head Full of Lice, as they take us through the history of Canada from pre-settler contact to today.

“If you looked at the world right now, the state the world is in, are you ok with that and if not do you want to see it change?” asks Ross.

“As a playwright as an artist I want things to change because they can get better”

Although the matter is serious, the play is sprinkled with dashes of humour.

It asks asks questions of Indigenous identity.

One of the charactters has little to no context of their people because of the violence they have suffered at the hands of settlers, and the goal to assimilate or erase them altogether.

Since settler contact, so much of Indigenous identity, culture, and spirituality has been met with violence in Canada’s attempt to assimilate Indigenous Peoples.

It left Ross wondering whether Canada can truly achieve truth and reconciliation without embracing the people that made the country possible.

Ross is often asked why he uses humor to tackle these heavy topics. He says