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Fringe Theatre Adventures

The Edmonton International Fringe Festival is the longest running and largest festival of its kind in North America. Inspired by the Edinburgh Fringe, Founder Brian Paisley began the theatre festival in Edmonton in 1982 with 25 shows in five venues in its first year.

This year, there will be between 220-240 shows, 1600 performances and upwards of 130,000 people in attendance. The Fringe has become a world-wide phenomenon because of its founding principles: 100% of ticket value goes back to the artists and the art itself is completely uncensored. Murray Utas (MU) is Artistic Director and Adam Mitchell (AM) is Executive Director of Fringe Theatre Adventures.

Fringe Theatre Adventures has been a Tatataw member since Spring 2017 when Murray and Adam attended the Tatawaw Inception Ceremony.

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Self-discipline is a curious thing: it can be a foundation for success and equally a source of great discomfort.

One story my dad likes to tell is one about my grandfather asking his own father if he can go on a hunt. His father tells him he must first learn to build a fire. And when he has finished learning that, he is asked to build the fire in the snow, the rain, and the wind. That preparation for survival in nature is not to be taken lightly, nor mastered overnight. It also illuminates the importance of discipline - that ability to make a fire is to serve the community and to bring warmth to what you do. That story triggers thoughts of my own discipline and what it takes to know my best self.

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Building the Hearth

In April 2018, I was invited to accept what I like to call “my first adult award”—for the first time “youth” wasn’t in the title.

Some prominent individuals have been recipients of the Esquao Award, including Sarah Pocklington and Tantoo Cardinal and I was nervous to be placed in a category of women with far more life experience. In preparing for the big night, I reflected back on a talk I gave last Fall that Hunter and I called "Finding Agnes", about my search for my great grandmother.

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Café Rista

Cafe Rista was born of the desire to nourish a micro-community in Edmonton’s Grovenor neighbourhood where residents and professionals could congregate for a great meal and quality coffee. Since 2010, Simon Taylor and his wife and business partner, Erica Sorrell have attracted a steady stream of regulars and new-comers to their pocket just off Stoney Plain Road.

In Spring 2018, Simon became a Tatawaw member.

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The Storyteller

Our stories are who we are, as Nehiyawak.

The keepers and creators of story impart wisdom and celebrate language. They are also crucial to survival—younger generations once learned how to trap, eat, and stay alive in a long, cold winter thanks to the stories passed down by the Nehiyawak (Cree People).

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Hustle vs. Bubble

I’ve seldom entered a situation knowing what I am going to get out of it.

When I visited Standing Rock, North Dakota in December 2016, I went to support the Sioux community and observe what unyielding strength looks like. I witnessed protesters hard at work preparing food in the kitchens, taking care of the fire, and on the front lines and realized if I’d come with one idea, one leaning, inclined to discover a single outcome—simply to see Indigenous peoples fight a pipeline—I would have missed the real teachings of my visit.

That experience led me to see that if we only wait for moments where there is controversy or a fight to be had, we will miss the opportunity to make change. The challenge is to notice and listen to the lessons; however, when we go as hard and as fast as we can (which we love to do), we miss a lot of stuff. I find myself, more often than not, in the “hustle” space— a place not conducive to standing still. Or listening.

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Gaining New Perspectives: The Indigenous Canada Experience

By Emma Schreiner Vonk

I like to think that I am a fairly smart, educated cat. However, there have been many times in my life where that idea has been completely smashed to pieces. Math was easy for me until trigonometry in grade 12 (I loved trig up until then). I came into university perhaps a little cocky carrying my honours from high school and learned that I was utterly average. I think I am well-read and knowledgeable on current events until the discussion changes at the table and I contribute little, if anything, to the conversation. I thought I was a step ahead of the game starting at Naheyawin with my knowledge of Indigenous culture and history.

“Yeah, okay little girl,” said University of Alberta when I started taking their Indigenous Canada course.

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Jacquelyn Cardinal
Social Technologies and Why Being a Computer Nerd is Overrated

Growing up, I was always someone who gravitated towards technology.

Hardware and software fascinated me and captured my imagination about what the future could look like. In fact, my very first memories are of being in front of my parents’ Mac 2, clicking around on Paint and playing Snoopy to the Rescue.

Job growth in the technology industry is high and promising (Time Magazine believed that demand in goods and services would triple, which I think we have observed), and the culture is (mostly) interested in the importance of pursuing meaningful work. It’s a very exciting time to be alive.

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Jacquelyn Cardinal
The Key to Building Your Audience on Social Media

I’ll be the first to admit that social media isn’t easy. Building a community and gaining followers doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes work, lots of it. Whether you’re a startup company, established business or blossoming blogger, there’s more to it than just posting pretty pictures and having the odd conversation with a follower.

Here at Naheyawin, we are encouraged to be curious and take any opportunity that we can to learn something new. We’ve taken this value of curiosity and implemented it into many of our daily office practices, including how we run our social media channels and work towards building a more engaged audience.

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Jacquelyn Cardinal