Children of God, a Review
Until June 3 at the York Theatre on Commercial, Indigenous Theatre Company Urban Ink is premiering Children of God, a new musical by Corey Payette. St. James Trustee and Residential School survivor Kelvin Bee wants Anglicans to know about it.
The show tells the story of the children of an Oji-Cree family who are sent to a residential school in Northern Ontario. Their mother tried to see them and was never let past the school’s gate, and her kids never knew she came. Children of God blends ancient traditions and contemporary realities. Although the subject matter includes sexual and physical violence, it is a celebration of resilience and the power of the Indigenous cultural spirit.
Kelvin, who is a member of the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation was sent to St. Michael’s Residential School in Alert Bay and two other residential schools. He encourages everyone to see this play, but especially members of the churches that ran residential schools. “It is a parallel to my own life from the residential school to now. If you have survivors in your church go and listen with an open heart. It is true to each person down to the millisecond. This is graphic to experience; bring a lot of Kleenex.”
Describing the discussion with cast members and cultural support workers that follows each performance, Kelvin says, “this is really powerful. Together we’ll wake up the real history of Canada.”
Promo for Children of God
Kelvin Bee, Territorial Acknowledgment and Welcome, Synod 2017 PHOTO: Wayne Chose