A year-long journey (October 2014-2015) of cross-cultural community-building and truth and reconciliation led to our creating and performing 1784: (Un)Settling Antigonish. Our community theatre production—rather, pilgrimage—performed by a cast of 30 spanning all ages, ethnicities, and levels of experience, has taught us our shared history. The documentary film has been produced to share with educators, community development workers, and all those excited about bridge-building through speaking truth to history.
With sponsorship from the Department of Seniors and many other local sponsors, we performed our theatrical pilgrimage to the first permanent European settlement of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, five times during the summer of 2015. Several hundred viewers witnessed this challenge to the Eurocentric historical record, as we opened spaces for re-storying public narratives, and gave new voice to long silent peoples who have suffered cultural genocide and other wounds of history.