Co-created by Tsatsu Stalqayu, Mortal Coil and Butterflies in Spirit, Xweýene:msta:m ?əkwəsqwel, seýeḿ (translation: call to witness / listen to respected one) is a performance to honour Orange Shirt Day on Thursday, September 30, 2021, presented by the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Blending traditional Coast Salish song and regalia with contemporary music and performance, Xweýene:msta:m ?əkwəsqwel, seýeḿ asks the viewer to bear witness to the ongoing tragedy of the lost children of Canada’s residential schools and the country’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The pain and grief of these unimaginable losses are an integral part of the presentation, yet Xweýene:msta:m ?əkwəsqwel, seýeḿ ultimately also offers a message of hope that allows the audience to bear witness to the strength and resilience of the Indigenous peoples of this land.
Bearing witness, the act of honouring and remembrance in a public forum, is an important and crucial component of Coast Salish culture. In a blending of ‘western’ and Coast Salish performance, Xweýene:msta:m ?əkwəsqwel, seýeḿ asks us all to always remember and by doing so begin the work towards true reconciliation and redress.
Performers will include Mortal Coil Performance Society, Tsatsu Stalqayu (Coastal Wolf Pack) and Butterflies in Spirit.
This event is free and open to the public and will take place on šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (formerly known as the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza).