The term “Turtle Island” has its origins in Iroquois oral history as a creation myth related to how land emerged from water when Sky Woman fell to Earth. Since the 1970s it’s kind of become a pan-indigenous term for North America and the championing of formerly marginalized indigenous histories and cultures.
From Sept. 17-19, the University of Regina and First Nations University of Canada are hosting a national conference called Performing Turtle Island that will focus on indigenous theatre and performance art and the connection those disciplines have with First Nations identity, sense of community and overall well-being.
If you visit the Performing Turtle Island website, you’ll see that the three-day event includes all sorts of symposiums, performances, readings, art installations and film screenings. Participating will be a number of well-known First Nations artists, writers, academics, filmmakers and more.
There’s events running from morning into early evening, with most of the action concentrated at the two universities in southeast Regina. But a variety of community partners are also involved, so overall it’s a pretty big undertaking.