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shalan joudry

shalan joudry is an oral storyteller, poet, ecologist, and mother from the traditional district of Kespukwitk (southwest Nova Scotia). She lives and works in her community of L'sitkuk (Bear River First Nation) with her family. Using her theatrical background, shalan brings Mi'kmaw stories to a new generation of listeners, as well as recounting personally crafted narratives that follow Mi'kmaw storying custom. Of both Mi'kmaw and European ancestry, shalan weaves these worldviews in ecology and her writing.

Elapultiek (We Are Looking Towards): A Play
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

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."

Additional Information
96 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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