In the fall of 2016, a UVic composition student, Kim Farris-Manning put out a call to the dance community seeking a choreographer who might be interested in working on a site specific piece to take place on Mt. Tolmie. The composition was based on the text of the “Four Winds” as told by First Nations elder, STOLȻEL, and would engage approximately 30 musicians.
Studies in Child and Youth Care continue to reshape and challenge my understanding of how I work within my privileged white social location. I was curious to discover Kim’s perspective as a young composer responding to the structures of her university music program. I responded to her call and discovered the proposed dancers for the work would be children from LÁU,WELNEW Tribal School. I eagerly suggested we approach her project as a component of my practicum, and seek permission from the community to collaborate in creating the live performance.
After receiving positive support from the principal and supervisors connected to my practicum, I approached the grade 3 SENĆOŦEN Immersion class. I was generously invited to collaborate with STIWET and XEDXOLMEȽOT, teachers of the class, and we supported the children in designing a site specific dance. STIWET advised the appropriate title to be W̱SÁNEĆ SPW̱ELLO.
Welcome to W̱SÁNEĆ SPW̱ELLO.
We acknowledge that we are visitors on the traditional territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich), Lkwungen (Songhees), and Wyomilth (Esquimalt) peoples of the Coast Salish Nation.
The text of the “Four Winds” is as told by STOLȻEL, STIWET and XEDXOLMEȽOT. This story is written in the Strait Salish language SENĆOŦEN and will be recited by STIWET and members of the grade 3-immersion class from ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱.
Combining contemporary art and music, W̱SÁNEĆ SPW̱ELLO is an artistic collaboration between students from the ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ tribal school and the University of Victoria.
This performance/installation will feature approximately 30 minutes of music, dance and sculpture on the concrete platform at the summit of SṈAKA. A collaboration between artists; students and elders; Indigenous people and settlers, this performance will create a forum for thought and discussion surrounding respecting and honouring the earth and its people.
Grade 3 SENĆOŦEN Immersion Class
STAQWULTEN Jeremy Bartleman
ŦIWONEMOT Grace Blackwood
HELI Heli Etzel
W̱EMLEŚ William Morris
SIX̱NOMET Joseph Seward
Kennady Sylvester Johnny
ȻULÁŦÁ Romaine Underwood
SX̱ELIŦIYE Kaiea Wilson James
Rowan Finley Mcwilliams
ȻOSINIYE Linda Elliot
MENEŦIYE Elisha Elliot
SX̱EDŦELISIYE Renee Sampson
PS,K̵IT̸TENOT Robin Cooper
ŦIŦÍYELWET Maureen Williams
NENSIMU Rita Morris
ȻULETÁ Romain Underwood
UMEKIEXTUE Sandi Howard
Xane St. Phillip
Peter from Home Depot
Thank you to the ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ tribal school and the University of Victoria for supporting and engaging in this collaboration.
…And a special thank you to all of our family and friends for your unending help and support!
The Ida Halpern Scholarship Fund, Fairway Market, Market On Yates, and Starbucks.