Garden River First Nation’s re-Performance of Hiawatha P1
The Opening Act
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha is an epic poem written in 1855 that tells Anishinaabeg and other Aboriginal legends through a Christian voice. The popular poem became a pageant that was performed over many decades in Garden River itself beginning in 1901, and in major cities around the world, including before the Royal Family in London in the 1930s.
Members of two First Nations in Northern Ontario recently came together to reinterpret the poem from a contemporary Anishinaabeg perspective. In a production that honoured historic performances and engaged the entire community, young people from the Garden River and Batchewana First Nations donned costumes and became actors.
Images courtesy Karl Hele