Elapultiek (We are Looking Towards)
Author: Shalan Joudrey
Set in contemporary times, a young Mi’kmaw drum singer and a Euro-Nova Scotian biologist meet at dusk each day to count a population of endangered Chimney Swifts (kaktukopnji’jk). They quickly struggle with their differing views of the world. Through humour and story, the characters must come to terms with their own gifts and challenges as they dedicate efforts to the birds. Each “count night” reveals a deeper complexity of connection to land and history on a personal level.
Inspired by real-life species at risk work, shalan joudry originally wrote this story for an outdoor performance.
Elapultiek calls on all of us to take a step back from our routine lives and question how we may get to understand our past and work better together. The ideal of weaving between Indigenous and non-Indigenous worlds involves taking turns to speak and to listen, even through the most painful of stories, in order for us all to heal. We are in a time when sharing cultural, ecological, and personal stories is vital in working towards a peaceful shared territory, co-existing between peoples and nature.
“It’s a crucial time to have these conversations,” offers joudry. “The power of story can engage audience and readers in ways that moves them to ask more questions about the past and future.”
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