WHO: Cheryl L’Hirondelle & Joseph Naytowhow

WHEN: 8 – 10 pm

WHERE: SAW Centre (the former SAW Gallery), 67 Nicholas Street, Ottawa K1N 7B9


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Facilitated by Artists Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Joseph Naytowhow, Light Tipi / Yahkâskwan Mîkiwahp / tipi de lumière is a community-based art activation that will bring light into the darkness of the night with storytelling, song, language and Indigenous teachings.

The Tipi “structure” is created by organizing the community to position and hold high-powered handheld lights that are illuminated by smouldering bundles of Prairie sage that are specially prepared for this performance. As Light Tipi becomes illuminated the circle sharing begins. The performing artists share storytelling, song, teachings and language to illuminate our minds and open our hearts, and connect us to the land and waters.



A mixed-blood (Cree/Metis; German/Polish), community-engaged interdisciplinary and new media artist, singer/songwriter and curator, L’Hirondelle’s creative practice is an investigation of the junction of a cree worldview (nêhiyawin) in contemporary time-space.

Since the early 80’s, L’Hirondelle has created, performed and presented work in a variety of artistic disciplines, including: music, performance art, theatre, performance poetry, storytelling, installation and new media. In the early 90’s, she began a parallel career as an arts consultant/advisor and programmer, cultural strategist/activist, and director/producer of both independent works and projects within national artist-run networks. L’Hirondelle’s various activities have also found her working in the Canadian independent music industry, as well as various educational institutions, the prison system, First Nations bands, tribal councils and governmental funding agencies.

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Joseph Naytowhow is a gifted Plains/Woodland Cree (nehiyaw) singer/songwriter, storyteller, and voice, stage and film actor from the Sturgeon Lake First Nation Band in Saskatchewan. As a child, Joseph was influenced by his grandfather’s traditional and ceremonial chants as well as the sounds of the fiddle and guitar. Today he is renowned for his unique style of Cree/English storytelling, combined with original contemporary music and traditional First Nations drum and rattle songs.

An accomplished performer, Joseph is the recipient of the 2006 Canadian Aboriginal Music Award’s Keeper of the Tradition Award and he 2005 Commemorative Medal for the Saskatchewan Centennial. In 2009 Joseph also received a Gemini Award for Best Individual or Ensemble Performance in an Animated Program or Series for his role in the Wapos Bay series. That same year he was also awarded Best Emerging Male Actor at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival for his role in Run: Broken Yet Brave and won Best Traditional Male Dancer at John Arcand’s Fiddlefest in Saskatchewan. He has performed for the Prince of Wales, the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan and many other notables. His demanding schedule continues to take him to conferences, symposia, forums, festivals and film sets across Canada, North America and around the world.

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