Module 4’s theme of ecological knowledge centres around oral traditions and the importance of storytelling. We are also asked to consider the ecology of the natural world apart from the western scientific model.
The Debajehmujig (Debaj) Theatre Group’s (Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island) production Global Savages touched on several different themes from this course : stereotypes, globalization, and ecology … all through storytelling.
I watched this performance under the evening sky within the ruins of the St. Johns’s School for Boys. A place where residents were prevented from speaking their language and learning about their culture not so long ago.
The group told an alternative history of mankind dating back 18,000 years. The story of Turtle Island was quite localized (another theme) and rich with ecological references to nature and animals. The performance is aimed at helping others understand alternative perspectives, de-myth stereotypes and promote the need to care for our planet.
Global Savage is just one of many productions that the Debaj group has performed over the past 27 years. The newest is called Elders Gone AWOL!