Spill the tea with Ms Rabbitt.
I’m excited to be writing for a local online news station. I’m looking forward to sharing my opinions and thoughts in a way that is authentically Chevi. Also, in a way that is authentic, educational, and thought-provoking but through an Indigenous contemporary lens.
I’m inviting you all to join me as I share aspects of indigenous lived experiences, indigenous culture, indigenous collaborations, indigenous business, equity, and indigenous history. I bring a fresh perspective that is unique, different, and done in a way that is in the spirit of reconciliation. (I hope you all enjoy my first article.
This is the first in a four-part series profiling “trickster” with “Spill The Tea with Ms. Rabbit,” at River Radio. I wanted to highlight the Premier of “Trickster” and give some insight into the premier of CBC new show.
The next three articles are dedicated to the actors of CBC new show called “Trickster.” I had the unique privilege of interviewing actors who are bringing the indigenous legend “Trickster” to mainstream audiences, a CBC phenomenon, uniquely placed in primetime, on CBC at 9:00 p.m. Are Canadians ready for it? The “trickster” is an Indigenous legend that is widely known in Indian country, Eden Robinson’s novel “Son of a Trickster “, that is being reborn into a new CBC series on prime time Canadian television by the director, Michelle Latimer who is a Metis/Algonquin filmmaker & Tony Elliott, Executive Produced by Jennifer Kawaja & Julia Sereny and Produced by Sienna Films and Streel Films for CBC
“This is the first time indigenous content was given prime time space… and I never thought this would happen in my life time”, – Georgina Lightning.Tweet
The show is being adopted from Eden Robinson’s 2017 novel “Son of Trickster.” I was invited to the Premier and screening of episode one and two of “Trickster” by notable actress and filmmaker, Georgina lightning and musician and actress Stephanie Harp.
In an interview, Lightning said, “this is the first time indigenous content was given prime time-space… and I never thought this would happen in my lifetime.” In my second article, I reveal more about our conversation.
As I walk into the legendary Garneau Theatre, a historic movie theatre located on 109 Street in Edmonton. I wasn’t too sure what I was getting myself into as I entered during a worldwide pandemic. I entered into a Covid-19 secured vault, with social media influencers all wearing Indigenous inspired Masks. It was surreal. At the premiere included many notable faces “Indian country” such as MC, Jody Stonehouse, indigenous Tic Tock influencer, James Jones; indigenous Tic Tock influencer/ actress, Jacqueline Buffalo; local singer, Geraldine Carrier and many indigenous folks who are all doing phenomenal work in the city of Edmonton, Canada.
Ribbon Skirts worn by Indigenous Influencers at Premier of Trickster.
Indigenous ribbon dresses were in full display. Many attendees were wearing their amazing colourful, gorgeous, and elegant indigenous ribbon skirts. The skirt itself symbolizes a resurgence in femininity, matriarchal culture, and Indigenous pride. The entire setup for the premiere itself was unique for me. It was such a unique experience to witness the incorporation of indigenous culture at a Canadian television premiere. We had an opening prayer by local elder Marilyn Buffalo. Northern Cree, an Indigenous drum group, nominated six times for a Grammy, from Maskwacis AB. They inspired us with their beautiful drumming and singing behind Covid-19 plexiglass, this just added to the uniqueness of watching a premiere in a pandemic.
Mayor don Iveson attends “trickster” Premier.
I often hear local Indigenous folks call Don Iveson our Chief in Edmonton. He came and talked about the need for reconciliation in Edmonton. He was first elected back in 2013 as a city councilor. He went on to win his seat as a two-term elected Chief. I say this with no disrespect to other Chiefs in Alberta who have done phenomenal work for their communities, but Don Iveson has done more for indigenous people than any elected official for off-reserve Indigenous people.
The dire need for secure housing is a major issue on reserve and off but the Chief is coming up with proactive solutions. I believe that Edmonton now holds the title as Canada’s largest indigenous population in a city. So when I say the Chief himself was there I meant it.
New Canadian Show reveals Canada in a new way.
After all the introductions and pleasantries, The “trickster” made its debut. We watched the first two episodes uninterrupted. From those first episodes, I was able to grasp that this was very Canadian in describing being First Nation and surviving in an unjust society
I’ll repeat that again – First Nations surviving in an unjust society.
It highlights the impact between communities as a result of Canada’s apartheid system and colonial government structures. It went on to highlight the impact of Canada’s notorious child welfare system, struggles of First Nations living with oppressive barriers, and the desire to break the cycle of historical traumas living through contemporary peoples. It also highlighted a clear class system that is a part of Canada’s fabric but it’s never spoken about.
The “trickster” represents dysfunction.
These are all very thought-provoking subjects for a non-indigenous population. I hope they create conversations on race, class, systematic racism and race privilege.
At the very end of the show, Crystal lightning, in her breakout role dabbled in what is known as “bad medicine.” This got me excited because it is interesting to see Indigenous superstition being presented to mainstream audiences.
I literally cannot wait to see what’s next in the show.
My next few columns will be dedicated to interviewing a few of the cast members of “Trickster.”
Chevi Rabbitt, Human Rights Advocate, Columnist at River Radio News.