GIIWEDIN is set at a time when Indigenous peoples, and specifically Indigenous women, had their legal rights and political autonomy striped away. In effect, Indigenous sovereignty was systemically de-centered and eroded, ultimately displacing Indigenous women and their traditional and political influence. GIIWEDIN captures this history through the perspective of a strong and spirited female protagonist, Noodin-Kwe (Wind Woman), who represents seven generations of historical and traditional knowledge.
Noodin-Kwe’s resistance against colonialism is propelled by events she had witnessed as a young girl, including the signing of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, and many years of wars waged between colonial nations in their quest to claim sovereignty over Canada.
The Royal Proclamation was an important document presented by the British crown dictating that fair treaty agreements were to be negotiated with Indigenous peoples prior to the settlement or development of any lands. While being acutely aware of this document’s historical and legal significance, Noodin-Kwe lives to see the dissolution of such promises, which had enormous and forever changing impacts on Indigenous ways of living, and leaves an imprint on the land itself even today.
Awards & Recognition
2010 Dora Mavor Moore nomination “Outstanding New Musical/Opera
2010 Dora Mavor Moore nomination “Outstanding Musical Direction
Text by Spy Dénommé-Welch
Music by Spy Dénommé-Welch & Catherine Magowan
2 x soprano
3 x mezzo-soprano/alto
2 x tenor
2 x baritone/bass
1 x violin
1 x violoncello
1 x archlute
1 x harpsichord
Louis Riel Opera Symposium, University of British Columbia, School of Music, Vancouver, British Columbia (excerpts), February 2010
Native Earth Performing Arts / An Indie(n) Rights Reserve, Toronto, Ontario, April 8-24, 2010
Impact Festival / CPAMO, Waterloo, Ontario (excerpts), September 28, 2013
Wilfrid Laurier University, Faculty of Music, Waterloo, Ontario, February 28 – March 2, 2014
Giiwedin was developed with the support of the following:
Ontario Arts Council
Toronto Arts Council
Native Earth Performing Arts