Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout

By Tomson Highway

Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout
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Based on a deposition signed by 14 Chiefs of the Thompson River basin on the occasion of a visit to their lands by Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1910, Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout is a ritualized retelling of how the Native Peoples of British Columbia lost ... Read more


Overview

Based on a deposition signed by 14 Chiefs of the Thompson River basin on the occasion of a visit to their lands by Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1910, Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout is a ritualized retelling of how the Native Peoples of British Columbia lost their fishing, hunting and grazing rights, their lands, and finally their language without their agreement or consent, and without any treaties ever having been signed. It is one of the most compellingly tragic cases of cultural genocide to emerge from the history of colonialism, enacted by four women whose stories follow each other like the cyclical seasons they represent.

Written in the spirit of Shuswap, a ?Trickster language” within which the hysterically comic spills over into the unutterably tragic and back, this play is haunted by the blood of the dead spreading over the landscape like a red mist of mourning.

Reviews

“The play is both laugh-out loud funny and a precarious high-wire act…”
Globe & Mail

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