An important step in improving relationships with Indigenous Peoples
Discovery: A Comic Lament, is a play about the Doctrine of Discovery, the legal framework that justified seizure of land and oppression of Indigenous Peoples. It offers both comic and challenging glimpses into our colonial history, and nudges us to question our stories with honesty and integrity.
May 31st to June 3rd, there will be 4 performances in the Kitchener/Waterloo Region. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 31st — Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Kitchener
- Friday, June 1st — Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo
- Saturday, June 2nd — St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Cambridge
Sunday, June 3rd — Steinmann Mennonite Church, Baden
Purchase tickets now at uwaterloo.ca/grebel/events/discovery-comic-lament ($15 for adults, $10 for students). A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.
Discovery: A Comic Lament
A Drama by Ted and Company
As part of its final report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued this challenge to religious denominations and faith groups: "We call upon all religious denominations and faith groups who have not already done so to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius."
Many churches, faith groups, and even governments have made statements repudiating this Doctrine that gave Christian governments legal rights to seize land from its Indigenous inhabitants without their consent or any legal justification. But formal statements barely scratch the surface of the narrative that lies deep within the psyche of settlers who call this land their home. The attitudes embedded in the Doctrine of Discovery continue to be alive in the way we tell our stories of settling this land and in the presumed permission we grant to extractive industries to displace and destroy Indigenous peoples and other vulnerable communities as well as to harm the earth.
These stories are hard to talk about, and so our confusion, shame, and lack of understanding continue to inhibit our empathy and action. That is why churches and faith groups have come together to sponsor Discovery: A Comic Lament, a play starring Ted Swartz and Michelle Milne of Ted and Company. Through humour and drama, the play invites audiences to learn about and lament the ongoing legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery and to connect with Indigenous-led healing and justice efforts. This is an important play on a current issue for our community and for just relations with our Indigenous neighbours.
"The Doctrine of Discovery provided a framework for Christian explorers, in the name of their sovereign, to lay claim to territories uninhabited by Christians. If the lands were [deemed] vacant, then they could be defined as 'discovered' and sovereignty claimed." Christopher Columbus and the Doctrine of Discovery 5 Things to Know — Bob Joseph, 2016.
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